We all know how challenging it can be to lose weight. You want to eat healthy and more fruits and vegetables, but you still want your cake and eat it too. The frustrating part is that when you do indulge in something sweet, you feel guilty and that little bit extra bulge in your jeans is motivation to keep exercising. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to lose weight without having to give up your favorite foods?
There is, and it’s called the DASH Diet. Developed at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, the DASH Diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of the DASH Diet is to reduce blood pressure through nutrient-rich and low-calorie foods. What is DASH, exactly?
Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension
- Reduces sodium
- Increases potassium
- Boosts fiber intake
- Increases water consumption
One of the things that makes the DASH Diet unique is its emphasis on reducing sodium intake. It is well-established that too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, but did you know that most of the salt we eat is never absorbed in the body? Most people are not even aware that they are consuming excessive salt because the body has a way of storing it. As a general rule, you should consume no more than half of the amount of salt you would use if you were cooking a dish, and no more than a teaspoon of salt per day if you are at all concerned about your health. The good news is that the DASH Diet encourages you to eat more vegetables than usual, which are a rich source of natural fibers that help the body to metabolize sodium more efficiently. Cooking your vegetables at home instead of ordering them from a restaurant helps to reduce your daily sodium intake.
What Are the Most Popular Foods in the DASH Diet?
When people follow any kind of diet, the first question that will come up is: What are the most popular foods in the diet? There is no exact answer to this question because people have different tastes, but here are some interesting speculations. Since the diet is rich in potassium, it makes sense that some of the most popular foods would be rich in potassium too.
How Is the DASH Diet Different From Other Diets?
Another question that will come up whenever there is a new diet is: How is this diet different from other diets? In order to answer this question, it is important to understand how all diets work and how they are alike. When we eat food, the body breaks it down into simple molecules that it can easily use to construct vital proteins and new cells. These simple molecules form the building blocks of our bodies and without them, we would not be able to survive. When food is digested, it releases energy that our bodies need in order to function properly. This energy is in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is quickly depleted when sugar is consumed in large amounts. What this means is that too much sugar has a very similar effect to starvation, in that it depletes the body of ATP. Since the DASH Diet is designed to reduce the body’s reliance on sugar by increasing the intake of natural and simple sugars, it becomes obvious that this diet is different from others in that respect. It also encourages the body to build lean muscle mass due to its high fiber content, as well as improve the body’s natural defense mechanism against infections, since vitamin C is one of the most popular antioxidants in the fruit kingdom. Lastly, it reduces hunger pangs by restricting the intake of food that has high caloric content. For these reasons, the DASH Diet is certainly a unique and effective way to lose weight and change one’s life for the better.