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What is the DASH diet?
The DASH diet is an acronym that stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a health-promoting diet developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the United States as an effective method of lowering blood pressure. The DASH diet's main goal is to reduce sodium intake by eating low-sodium foods and following a plan with many whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts. It's usually divided into 3 stages described below.
Foods to eat during all 3 stages
The DASH diet is divided into 3 phases. Phase 1 is when you will remove all salt from your diet, phase 2 is when you start to add other types of food back in, and phase 3 starts when you're living a "regular" life. Foods that are allowed on the diet during phase 1 are fruits, vegetables, nuts, dried beans and peas, peanut butter (without added sugar), whole grains (like oatmeal), fish and poultry without the skin.
Food not to eat at all costs
One of the things you need to pay attention to when following the DASH diet is what foods are okay to eat and which ones are not. According to studies, there are two main food groups that should be avoided on the diet: red meat and sweets.
When it comes to red meat, it’s important to stick with lean cuts of beef or chicken breast. You can find these meats in your local grocery store freezer section. Additionally, you want to avoid processed meats like bacon and sausage as they tend to have a lot of salt in them.
Sweets aren’t allowed on the DASH diet for many reasons. The most obvious reason is that sweets contain a lot of sugar, but also because they have little nutritional value other than calories. By sticking with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, or air-popped popcorn for snacks instead of candy bars or cookies, you’ll be taking big steps towards success!
Want to know more?
Not really. The first phase is actually very cheap compared to other diets like the paleo diet. You would be eating lots of fresh, healthy foods and getting a lot of nutrients at a low cost. In the second phase, you might want to buy some more expensive items like nuts, nut butters, or oils. But if you are on a tight budget, then the dash diet is cost-effective.
There are a lot of things that make this diet seem like a breeze. But with any new diet, it takes time to figure out what works for your body. To start, you should plan about what kind of food you're going to buy for phase 1.
It’s not ideal, especially in the long term. The diet offers a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains that are all high in potassium. The issue is that potassium is not an environmentally friendly element.
Poor soil conditions lead to low yields for crops like wheat and soy which will then lead to a lack of protein. Lacking protein means that there would be less milk available for DASH Dieters. What’s more, there is an increased need for fertilizer due to the nutrient-hungry plants. And finally, without any crops left, there would be no food source for wildlife or livestock.
Stick to the Plan
Now that you know more or less what to expect, it’s time you created your own dash diet shopping list. Feel free to use our template and add what you think should also be on the list, as well as take off anything that you wouldn’t otherwise buy. You can also check out other diets here.
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