DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is an approach to healthy eeating that is focused on helping people reduce high blood pressure. This medical condition puts patients at higher risk for heart attack and stroke as well as having a generally negative effect on their whole circulatory system. So is the DASH diet the best approach to lowering blood pressure? Let’s find out!
About the DASH Diet
You may be wondering about what is in the DASH diet. The biggest concern in this plan is limiting the amount of sodium you consume each day. In the standard program, you are limited to 2,300 mg of sodium. In the more restricted program, it is a 1,500 mg limit. Because processed foods are very high in sodium, the DASH diet focuses more on fresh foods prepared at home. People who are on this plan are also supposed to refrain from adding salt to their meals.
While you are on the DASH diet, you are asked to count the number of servings of different food groups ingested every day. Your carbohydrate content should come from six to eight servings of whole grains, four to five servings of fruits and four to five servings of vegetables. You are also allowed two to three servings of low-fat dairy items like milk, yogurt and cheese.
The DASH diet is more about paying attention to food types and content than counting calories. People on this diet normally seek to limit themselves to 2,000 calories per day. If they are trying to lose weight, they may choose fewer calories. Bodybuilders and other athletes may need to consume more calories.
Consider the Macrobiotic Diet over the DASH Diet
Although a macrobiotic diet involves paying attention to what you eat, the diet is not about restricting foods. But learning how to build and create healthy meals with wide variety of plant-based foods – whole grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, naturally pickled and fermented foods, fruits, nuts and seeds. This diet puts a great emphasis on whole grains, beans, vegetables and fermented foods. Whole grains are the most balanced foods. Therefore, it is one of the best foods to eat to improve blood pressure and other health issues.
Those who follow this practice pay attention not only to what they eat but also to how they eat. Meals are consumed on a regular schedule with plenty of time to enjoy the food and engage in conversation. Eating at regular times regulates all of the body’s cycles and ensures no spikes or drops in blood pressure. People who follow this lifestyle also take daily walks outdoors when possible. The macrobiotic lifestyle is all about living in a balanced way that promotes a lifetime of health.
Advantages of the Macrobiotic Lifestyle over the DASH Diet
No Need to Track Food
Any diet like the DASH diet that asks you to track your food can turn meals into a burden. As you look at your list, you can become obsessed with food, especially noticing the foods you are denying yourself. While tracking may be helpful for a while, people who track their foods frequently start to cheat over time. Instead, the macrobiotic style of eating gives you a range of healthy and satisfying choices. You do not need to worry about what you are eating when you know that everything you eat benefits your wellbeing.
In addition, tracking food can cause you anxiety when spending time with family and friends. Making you choose food over enjoying life. That is why macrobiotics incorporates diet with a healthy lifestyle. Great health can only be achieved when a healthy diet is combined with a balanced and joyful lifestyle.
No Fear of Salt
Macrobiotic practitioners focus on the quality of salt and use it sparingly in food preparation. The macrobiotic diet uses unrefined white and gray sea salt as opposed to refined table salt. There are many advantages to using sea salt. This product is produced naturally through evaporation. It contains sodium and a variety of trace minerals in a form that the body can easily absorb. In addition, macrobiotic practitioners avoid adding salt after they have cooked their food. Any salt they use is added as part of the cooking process.
The body needs salt to balance blood fluids, prevent low blood pressure, prevent dehydration, transmit nerve impulses, aid in the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, allow nutrients and oxygen to travel to organs and keep bones and immune system strong.
A Balance of Whole Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits
One of the biggest challenges for any diet is satisfaction. Diets that leave you hungry throughout the day will never work. You will only end up craving more calories. Often, people who are hungry make impulsive choices. They look for calorie-dense foods that are less healthy. While fruits and vegetables are healthy, when combined with grains and starchy vegetables, they create greater satisfaction.
The macrobiotic diet encourages people to eat grains with every meal along with a variety of beans, vegetables and fruits throughout the day. Whole grains are low glycemic index foods that take longer for the body to digest. This means that you will be satisfied for a longer period when you eat them. When your digestion slows down, you will not experience as many hunger pangs and cravings, leading to a feeling of balance. In countries like Japan, people eat whole grains with every meal which some people believe leads to health benefits such as longevity and lowered risks for chronic diseases.
Most people find the holistic approach of the macrobiotic lifestyle to be the best choice for them. While food is essential, a lifetime of health involves a way of living that promotes feeling better, youthfulness, clarity and abundant thought.