Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is the DASH diet. High blood pressure is a significant health issue that often requires medicine as a part of a treatment program, but the DASH diet offers one way to reduce the need for prescription medicine by incorporating a healthy eating plan. This is an eating plan that looks at the long-term benefits of a diet that is high in vegetables and fruits, low or nonfat dairy products, and moderate amounts of whole grains and animal proteins.
One benefit of the DASH program is in its emphasis on reducing sodium intake. Nutrient-rich foods are emphasized, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy proteins. Of course, the health benefit — a reduction in high blood pressure — is significant, but the diet is also flexible, and easily adapted to our busy lifestyles. This is not a diet that is intended for weight loss, although when healthy eating is paired with an exercise plan, weight loss will occur. Research suggests that a DASH diet may reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.