DASH Diet Meal Plan To Prevent And Control Blood Pressure

Our diet and lifestyle play a major role in our chances of developing hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. Many recent studies suggest that blood pressure can be reduced by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. Consuming less salt is another crucial step in lowering your blood pressure. Combining the DASH eating plan with a reduced sodium consumption works best and helps prevent the development of high blood pressure. Here, we talk about blood pressure, the DASH diet plan, and some delicious, yet healthy recipes.

What Is Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure affects more than 65 million American adults.

Advertisements

High blood pressure affects more than 65 million American adults. That translates to 1 in 3 adults! Blood pressure is the force of blood against the artery walls. Blood pressure rises and falls during the day. But, when it stays elevated for a long duration, it’s called as high blood pressure.1

How Does It Affect Us?

High blood pressure can cause heart and kidney disease, stroke, and blindness

Advertisements

High blood pressure is potentially dangerous as it causes the heart work too hard, and the high force of the blood flow can harm arteries and organs such as the heart, kidneys, brain, and eyes. High blood pressure rarely shows warning signs or symptoms. Once it occurs, it usually lasts a lifetime. If left untreated and uncontrolled, it can result in heart and kidney disease, stroke, and blindness.2

What Is The DASH Diet?

DASH diet plan is specifically designed to help reduce blood pressure

Advertisements

Since diet is known to play an important role in the development of high blood pressure, scientists and policy makers have developed specific dietary strategies to help reduce it.3 4

Scientists supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) performed two studies. The findings from these studies revealed that blood pressure can be reduced with a diet plan that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat and that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. This diet plan, known as the DASH eating plan, also includes whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts. It is reduced in lean red meat, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages. It is rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as protein and fiber.5

Advertisements

The diet was designed after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was much less common in those who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegans and vegetarians, than in meat eaters.6 7

How Does DASH Diet Lower Blood Pressure?

The DASH eating plan must be combined with other lifestyle changes for effective prevention and control of blood pressure. If your blood pressure is not too high, you can control it entirely by changing your eating habits, losing weight if you are overweight, doing regular physical activities, and reducing alcohol intake. The DASH eating plan can also lower LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol, which, along with lowering blood pressure, can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Advertisements

A low salt intake directly lowers the blood pressure. Studies show that the DASH menus that contain 2300 milligrams of sodium can lower blood pressure. An even lower level of sodium, 1500 milligrams, can further reduce blood pressure.

In a particular study, participants who practiced both the plan that included more fruits and vegetables and the DASH eating plan had reduced blood pressure. Along with the DASH eating plan, regular physical activities such as walking or swimming, will help in weight loss and ensure your long-term fitness. Physical activity can be divided into two 30-minute sessions or can be shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each. The important thing is to ensure a total physical exercise of 30 minutes every day.

Advertisements

Tips To Control High Blood Pressure

  • High blood pressure can be controlled by following these simple steps.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be moderately physically active on most days of the week.
  • Follow a healthy eating plan, which includes foods lower in sodium.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
  • If you have high blood pressure and are prescribed medication, take it as directed.

Is Alcohol Consumption Permitted On The DASH Diet?

Drinking excessive quantities of alcohol can increase your blood pressure

Drinking excessive quantities of alcohol can increase your blood pressure. Regular consumption of more than three drinks a day has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. On the DASH diet, alcohol can be consumed sparingly and should not exceed the national government guidelines, which is two or fewer drinks per day for men and one or fewer drinks per day for women.8 9

Advertisements

Important Note: If you take medication to control high blood pressure, you should not stop using it. Follow the DASH eating plan and talk to your doctor about your treatment.

Here is an example of a one-week DASH diet meal plan based on 2000 calories.

Monday

Oat meal, Skimmed milk and blueberries

  • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of blueberries and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • Snack: 1 medium apple and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • Lunch: Tuna and mayonnaise sandwich made with 2 slices of whole grain bread, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1.5 cups (113 grams) of green salad and 3 ounces (80 grams) of canned tuna. 1 cup (248 grams) of vegetable soup.
  • Snack: 1 medium banana.
  • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean chicken breast cooked in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil with 1/2 cup (75 grams) of broccoli and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of carrots. Served with 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice.

Tuesday

Green salad

  • Breakfast: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with 1 teaspoon of margarine and 1 tablespoon of jelly or jam. 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice and 1 medium apple.
  • Snack: 1 medium banana.
  • Lunch: 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean chicken breast with 2 cups (150 grams) of green salad, 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese and 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice.
  • Snack: 1/2 cup (30 grams) of canned peaches and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of salmon cooked in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil with 1 cup (300 grams) of boiled potatoes and 1.5 cups (225 grams) of boiled vegetables.

Wednesday

Canned pineapple

  • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of blueberries. 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • Snack: 1 medium orange.
  • Lunch: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean turkey, 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese, 1 teaspoon of margarine, 1/2 cup (38 grams) of green salad and 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes.
  • Snack: 4 whole grain crackers with 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of cottage cheese and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of canned pineapple.
  • Dinner: 6 ounces (170 grams) of cod fillet, 1 cup (200 grams) of mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of green peas and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of broccoli.

Thursday

Grilled tuna

  • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of raspberries. 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • Snack: 1 medium banana.
  • Lunch: Salad made with 4.5 ounces (130 grams) of grilled tuna, 1 boiled egg, 2 cups of green salad, 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of low-fat salad dressing and 2 slices of whole wheat toast.
  • Snack: 1/2 cup (30 grams) of canned pears and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of pork fillet with 1 cup (150 grams) of mixed vegetables and 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice.

Friday

Spaghetti and meatballs

  • Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, 2 slices of turkey bacon with 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup (80 grams) of baked beans, 2 slices of whole wheat toast and 1 teaspoon of margarine. 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice (120 ml).
  • Snack: 1 medium apple.
  • Lunch: 2 slices of whole wheat toast, 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise, 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese, 1/2 cup (38 grams) of salad greens and 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes.
  • Snack: 1 cup of fruit salad.
  • Dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs made with 1 cup of spaghetti and 4 ounces (115 grams) of turkey meatballs. 1/2 cup (75 grams) of green peas.

Saturday

Pork steak

  • Breakfast: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 medium banana, 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds and 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice (120 ml).
  • Snack: 1 medium apple.
  • Lunch: 3 ounces (85 grams) of grilled chicken, 1 cup of roasted vegetables and 1 cup couscous.
  • Snack: 1/2 cup (30 grams) of mixed berries and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of pork steak and 1 cup (150 grams) of ratatouille with 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice, 1/2 cup of lentils and 1.5 ounces (45 grams) low-fat cheese.
  • Dessert: Low-fat chocolate pudding.

Sunday

Orange juice

  • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of blueberries and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • Snack: 1 medium pear.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad made with 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean chicken breast, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 2 cups (150 grams) of green salad, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of cherry tomatoes, 1/2 tablespoon of seeds and 4 whole grain crackers.
  • Snack: 1 banana and 1/2 cup (70 grams) of almonds.
  • Dinner: 3 ounces of roast beef with 1 cup (150 grams) of boiled potatoes, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of broccoli and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of green peas.

Healthy Recipes In-line With The DASH Diet Plan

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups chicken breast, cooked, cubed, and skinless
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise, low-fat

Directions
1. Bake chicken, cut into cubes and refrigerate.
2. In a large bowl combine rest of ingredients, add chilled chicken and mix well.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups zucchini, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp oregano, dried
  • 1 Tbsp basil, dried
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup water

Directions
1. In a medium skillet, heat oil. Sauté onions, garlic, and zucchini in oil for 5 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Serve over spaghetti.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb garlic, separated and peeled
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions
1. Place the garlic cloves into a small saucepan and pour enough water (about 1/2 cup) to cover them.
2. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until garlic is tender for about 15 minutes.
3. Reduce the liquid to 2 Tbsp and increase the heat for 3 minutes.
4. Pour the contents into a small sieve over a bowl, and with a wooden spoon, mash the garlic through the sieve into the bowl.
5. Whisk the vinegar into the garlic mixture; incorporate the oil and seasoning.

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 16 small potatoes (5 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dill weed, dried

Directions
1. Thoroughly clean potatoes with vegetable brush and water.
2. Boil potatoes for 20 minutes or until tender.
3. Drain and cool potatoes for 20 minutes.
4. Cut potatoes into quarters and mix with olive oil, onions, and spices.
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chicken And Spanish Rice

Chicken And Spanish Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup green peppers
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 11/4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 5 cups cooked brown rice (cooked in unsalted water)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken breasts, cooked, skin and bone removed and diced

Directions
1. In a large skillet, sauté onions and green peppers in oil for 5 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add tomato sauce and spices. Heat through.
3. Add cooked rice and chicken. Heat through.

Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • Two 6 oz cans tuna, water pack
  • 1/2 cup raw celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 61/2 Tbsp mayonnaise, low-fat

Directions
1. Rinse and drain tuna for 5 minutes. Break apart with a fork.
2. Add celery, onion, and mayonnaise and mix well.

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup regular oats, dry
  • 1 large egg, whole
  • 1 Tbsp onion, dehydrated flakes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Bake in a loaf pan at 350˚F for 25 minutes or to an internal temperature of 165˚F.
3. Cut into five slices and serve.

References[+]