Health

The DASH diet, the healthy way to lose weight while regulating hypertension

Skipping meals, snacking between meals, eating dinner late or not exercising can lead our body to gain weight and if we add to these bad habits the intake of ultra-processed foods, sugary soft drinks, sweets or chips, we are generating a caloric bomb that is dangerous for our health. .

According to nutritionists, the goal is lose weight, from 2 to 4 kilos per monthwithout harming health, for this reason do not recommend following crash diets like the cabbage diet, the Dukan method or the Atkins diet, where it is true that you lose weight but not in a healthy way.

A good option is DASH dietshort for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, a dietary pattern created by the US National Institute of Health in the late 1990s to regulate hypertension through diet.

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What is the DASH diet

According to the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition, the DASH diet is oriented, first of all, for patients with hypertension, but since it is a fairly healthy dietary pattern, it could be used in people without pathologies or with other metabolic pathologies such as diabetes or dyslipidemia. .

Whenever a caloric restriction is carried out, weight is lost. The challenge is to do it in a balanced and sustainable way in the long termMaria D. Ballesteros Pomar

In addition, it can also be useful to lose weight, especially in people with bad dietary habits, since the change to healthy habits such as those proposed by the DASH diet will allow reduce calorie intake and adapt it to your needs. «Whenever a caloric restriction is carried out, weight is lost. The challenge is to do it in a balanced and sustainable way in the long term, and these two conditions can be met with the DASH diet,” he says. Maria D. Ballesteros PomarMedical Specialist Endocrinology and Nutrition.

The model Virginia Troconis and the dietitian Pablo Ojeda

in what consist the diet?

This dietary pattern is based on reducing sodium in the diet below levels of 2.3 g in normal DASH and 1.5 g in low-sodium DASH, and increasing the potassium, calcium, and magnesium content. , minerals that potentially manage to improve hypertension.

The DASH diet emphasizes the foods rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium and fiber which, when combined, help lower blood pressure.

To achieve this, a diet is proposed with:

  • Decrease in processed or pre-cooked products
  • The consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts, fish and low-fat meats is recommended.
  • Consumption of a high content of skimmed dairy

Regarding its evidence, since the late 90s when this diet was proposed, multiple studies of a high scientific level have been carried out that have shown the benefit of this type of diet on hypertension. The two most reviewed studies are those called DASH (Apple et al. 1997) and DASH-sodium (Vollmer et al, 2001) in which this diet was compared with others and the effect on blood pressure was assessed, achieving a more striking effect. on the so-called DASH diet. In the DASH-sodium study, sodium levels were further reduced, achieving more significant results. Every year, US News evaluates which are the best diets globally. In the 2019 ranking, the DASH diet ranked second, only after the Mediterranean diet.

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Basics of the diet

  • Control the amount of salt when cooking: less than 3 g/day, the equivalent of a level teaspoon of coffee.
  • Avoid ultra processed or precooked products.
  • Use regular seasonings to cook and give more flavor to food (pepper, paprika, saffron, vinegar, lemon, garlic, onion…) and aromatic herbs (parsley, thyme, fennel, bay leaf, oregano…).
  • Canned fish for salads or similar, preferably natural (0% salt), but in moderation.
  • Avoid adding meat or fish broth tablets to meals.
  • Avoid carbonated and stimulant drinks.
  • Ensure a minimum of 3 fruits a day (preferably whole pieces rather than natural juices) and 2-3 skimmed dairy products a day.
  • Use culinary techniques that do not add too much fat: griddle, roast, oven, microwave, steam, papillote. Avoid fried, breaded or battered.
  • Drink 1.5 or 2 liters of water a day (8 glasses/day), infusions are also counted.
  • Frequent consumption of fish. Consumption of lean meats (preferably poultry). Limited consumption of red meat (1-2 times/week).
  • At lunch and dinner, add 30 g of bread, preferably wholemeal, without salt.
  • Lunch and dinner desserts: 150 g piece of fruit.

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