DASH Diet for Hypertension Patients

DASH Diet for Hypertension Patients

The DASH diet is a diet designed to prevent spikes in blood pressure, so it can treat and prevent hypertension. This diet advises dieters to eat foods low in salt and foods that contain certain nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium which are effective in lowering blood pressure.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet emphasizes a low-salt diet but still contains balanced nutrition, so that it is not only able to prevent hypertension, but also reduces the risk of other diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and cancer.

DASH Diet Rules

Salt (sodium/sodium) is the main enemy of people with hypertension because it can have a direct effect on increasing blood pressure. For this reason, people with hypertension should consider the DASH diet so that blood pressure can be controlled properly.

The DASH diet also has simple rules, namely:
  • Limiting sodium consumption, both in the form of salt and high-sodium foods, such as packaged foods (canned foods), and fast food.
  • Limit consumption of meat and foods high in sugar.
  • Reduce consumption of foods high in cholesterol, and contain trans fats.
  • Increase consumption of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Eat fish, poultry, nuts, and whole grain foods.

Restricted Amount of Sodium in the DASH Diet

In order to avoid hypertension, everyone is advised to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium (equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt) per day. Well, the DASH diet generally limits sodium consumption to less than 2,300 mg.

But for those of you who suffer from hypertension, sodium consumption restrictions should be stricter, which is only about 1,500 mg of sodium (equivalent to 2/3 teaspoon of salt) per day.

To get used to limiting sodium intake, you can start with the following:
  • Don't add too much salt to food.
  • Avoid packaged foods, especially canned packaging. The reason is that packaged food contains higher sodium than fresh food.
  • Limit meat consumption to only 6 ounces per day. The presentation must also be balanced with vegetables.
  • Increase the portion of fruit at mealtime.
  • Replace packaged snacks with fresh fruit, yogurt, or nuts without salt.
  • Choose low-fat milk.

Setting the DASH Diet Menu

Setting the DASH diet menu is actually easy because you can still eat rice, meat, and milk. The thing to note is to limit the portion per day.

For one serving in the DASH diet, 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of cereal, 3 ounces of cooked meat, 100 grams of rice or pasta, about 150 grams of vegetables and fruits, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil such as olive oil, 3 ounces of tofu, and 8 ounces of milk.

As for the list of foods that need to be consumed in the DASH diet, namely:

1. Vegetables: minimum 45 servings per day

Broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins, fiber, and minerals, such as potassium and magnesium. Serve vegetables as the main menu, not as a side dish.

2. Rice and wheat: maximum 6Z8 servings per day

Rice, bread, pasta, and cereals belong to the rice and wheat group. Choose whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat bread, as they contain more fiber and nutrients. Wheat has a low fat content, as long as it is not consumed with butter, cheese, or cream. 3.

3. Fruits: at least 4-5 servings per day

Serve fruit as a snack. If you don't like eating fruit, process it into juice without added sugar. One of the fruits that are good for people with hypertension is bananas, because they are rich in potassium.

Potassium works by reducing the effects of sodium. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through your urine. Potassium is also able to relieve tension in the walls of blood vessels which will lower blood pressure.

4. Meat, chicken and fish: maximum 2 servings per day

Animal meat is a source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamins. Meat is safe for people with hypertension as long as it does not exceed 6 ounces per day.

It is recommended that you consume skinless meat that is processed by boiling or roasting, not fried so that the meat does not become a high-cholesterol meal. In addition to meat, you can also eat salmon and tuna because it is healthier and rich in omega-3 which is beneficial in lowering cholesterol.

5. Nuts and seeds: 3-5 servings per day

Nuts contain omega-3 and fiber which are beneficial in lowering the risk of heart disease and lowering blood pressure. But in addition, nuts also contain calories, so it is advisable to eat in moderation.

Another alternative is to consume processed soybean products, such as tempeh and tofu. Tempe and tofu contain all the amino acids that the body needs, so they can be used as an alternative to meat.

6. Fats and oils: maximum 2−3 servings per day

In the DASH diet, it is recommended to consume unsaturated fats aka good fats. Unsaturated fats can lower cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the risk of heart disease, as long as they are consumed in appropriate amounts.

Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts. While polyunsaturated fats are found in salmon, tuna, and processed soybeans.

7. Low-fat dairy products: maximum 2-3 servings per day

Milk and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are good sources of vitamin D, calcium, and protein. Choose products that are low in fat to avoid consuming excess fat.

8. Sweet foods: maximum 5 servings per week

In living the DASH diet, you don't need to give up the habit of eating sweet snacks. However, it is advisable to choose sweet foods, such as jelly jelly, or low-fat biscuits.

When you are just starting the DASH diet program, you may find that the taste of the food you consume may become less delicious due to a lack of salt. So, so that it doesn't feel too torturous, you don't need to immediately eliminate the entire amount of salt, but try to reduce it little by little until your tongue gets used to it.

The essence of the DASH diet is to reduce sodium intake. Whether it's sodium in food, processed products, or added salt in cooking. That is why, the type of food selected in this program is food with low sodium content. When shopping for kitchen needs, don't forget to read the packaging label before choosing a product.

The DASH diet can indeed help lower blood sugar levels, but for this diet program to be more effective, you are also advised to exercise regularly. If you find it difficult to follow this diet or feel that it is not suitable for this diet, consult a nutritionist in order to find a diet pattern that suits your health.