The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) or dash eating plan follows healthy for your heart guidelines to limit saturated fat and cholesterol. It focuses on increasing your intake of foods rich in nutrients that are expected to lower blood pressure such as minerals, protein, and fiber. Dash includes mainly nutrient rich foods which means it also meets other recommended nutrient requirements.

Combining the DASH diet with other healthy lifestyle changes can help you control blood pressure. If your blood pressure is not too high, you may be able to control it completely by changing your eating habits, being physically active on a regular basis, cutting back on alcohol consumption and losing weight (if you are overweight). The dash eating plan also has other benefits, such as lowering bad cholesterol, which can reduce your risk for heart disease and lower your blood pressure.

Using the DASH eating plan along with a consistent physical activity program such as biking, jogging, strength training, walking, hiking, swimming, etc… Will help you to drop weight, get in shape, and stay slimmer long term. You can exercise for 30 minutes at one time or break it up into shorter 10 minutes periods. The important thing is to get at least 30 total minutes of activity each day. Try to total about 60 minutes per day to avoid gaining weight.

You should know that the DASH diet eating plan includes more daily servings of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain foods than you are probably used to eating. Also, because the plan is high in fiber, it may cause bloating and diarrhea in some people. To help avoid these issues you can gradually increase your amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.