Does the DASH Diet Plan Improve Heart Health?

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These days, it seems you can’t go a day without hearing about a diet plan. You might know someone who’s tried Weight Watchers, or perhaps you’ve dabbled with dieting yourself. Some diets are fads that come and go, while others prove their worth through the real health benefits they offer.

Not All Diets Are Created Equal

The word ‘diet’ gets a bad rap. Not all diets are about losing weight or severely restricting your enjoyment of food. Some diets, such as the DASH diet plan, are actually a recommended food regimen that can help improve your heart health and limit cholesterol levels.

A Look at the DASH Diet Plan

Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension (DASH) is designed to help reduce or control high blood pressure. People who have high blood pressure have an increased risk for heart disease and other serious health concerns. The DASH plan focuses on foods that are heart-healthy, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry and nuts.

Although nothing is off-limits with the DASH diet, the plan focuses on reducing your consumption of red meat and sugary foods and beverages and limiting your sodium intake. Nutrients that are known to support heart health, including potassium, magnesium and calcium, are all abundant in the foods emphasized by the DASH diet plan.

Leading a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

By now, many of us know that we are what we eat. However, that’s only part of the equation. Although the foods we put into our body impact our overall health, our lifestyle also plays a pivotal role in warding against disease and keeping us well. Maintaining a healthy weight, leading an active lifestyle and managing stress levels are all important factors that can help to improve heart health.