DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Healthy Eating

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I eat about 50-60% carbs within a DASH diet framework. So I am in the middle.  I eat 8-10 servings of unprocessed fruit and veggie each day.  I don’t drink fruit or veggie juice much at all.  I prefer the whole fruit and veggie.   If I am trying to lose a few pounds, I move it down to 50%. The DASH diet calls for complex carbs.   I try to obtain at least 15 grams of fibre, much of it from complex carbs (bran, flax, steel cut oats, etc) berries and skim milk in the mornings with a goal of consuming 35 grams each day.

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An accurate article detailing some of the health benefits I have experienced during the past 9 years, following a 1500mg sodium/day DASH diet. Moreover, in addition to a 90 pound weight loss with DASH diet and complete elimination of hypertension 7 years ago, I also experienced cessation of almost nightly, intestinal pain.

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I thought this was a helpful, short summary of the DASH diet, although I have followed a 1500 mg per day sodium limit for the past 9 years, rather than 2300 mg per day limit.  Before my 90 pound weight loss with the DASH diet, I was seriously hypertensive 170/90, so I follow the 1500 mg per day limit to keep my blood pressure in check.

 

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I started following the DASH diet in June 2009, on the recommendation of my doctor due to hypertension. My systolic pressure had reached 170 and he said it was an unacceptable level for someone only in their early forties.
He initially suggested medication or going on the wait list for weight loss surgery. He believed a substantial weight loss would go a long way to lowering my blood pressure. I decided against medication and surgery in favour of his final and last suggestion/possible solution, the DASH diet.
After he gave me a pager information sheet on the diet. I went home and did additional research and discovered that the effects of the diet could be enhanced for those with hypertension, by also making it very low sodium. I decided to go this route, along with with calorie restriction to lose the weight. I still follow a 1500 mg sodium limit per day to keep my now normal blood pressure, low.
After an 18 month weight loss process with DASH, ending in 2011, I lost 90 pounds and have not regained the weight since.

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How come I am only just discovering the deliciousness of dried strawberries now? Kind of like strawberry liquorice with a very similar chew, but so much better! #dashdiet

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The DASH diet that I have followed now for almost 9 years come this June, to lower my blood pressure and lose 90 pounds, just won best diet again for the 8th year in a row!!  All diet’s were rated by medical professionals and experts.  Check it out and if you are interested in learning more about DASH, you can also follow my facebook page here.

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Research is now showing that it is not only salt that contributes to high blood pressure, but also sugar. Too much sugar makes the effect of too much salt, that much worse. I am sure it is very difficult for scientists to tease out which is worse. My hypertension was completely eliminated through DASH diet and my 90 pound weight loss and too much sugar is very much associated with obesity. My doctor was very clear with me, that if I lost weight, my blood pressure would recede and he was 100% correct. I focused on reducing sodium because my intake was was too high and I had not even realized it. However my sugar intake was also reduced, just by following the DASH diet, because it is low sugar diet.

I highly recommend following the DASH diet to reduce intake in both areas!

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This is a wonderful article on the health risks of excess salt in your diet.   When I was learning to follow the DASH diet to combat my hypertension,  I read a lot of research that showed that a DASH diet with sodium reduction, was far more effective at reducing blood pressure than without.

One of the hardest things to figure out in the diet was how to season meats without salt, because meat with no seasoning is just gross.  As this article suggests, we began to experiment with creating meat marinades using, olive oil, flavoured vinegars, balsamics, garlic, real maple syrup and no sodium spices.

I have found that balsamic vinegars in particular, can provide a lovely salty like flavour to food, but with zero sodium.  They also come in so many flavours these days, like peach, strawberry fig, chilli and lime, mango, raspberry, etc.  I love to go to farmers markets to find interesting, flavoured and balsamic vinegars.  Today, I far prefer these homemade marinades to store bought sauces for meats.

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