DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Research and Information

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This article discusses what I experienced in following a low sodium DASH diet. Due to hypertension, I have followed the lowest sodium version of the diet at 1500 mg per day max since June 2009.   Before DASH, I used to have terrible bloating, sometimes so bad I couldn’t do up my pants.  This even happened at work, but it was the most painful at night.  I thought there was nothing I could do about it, but suffer with it.

When I started a low sodium DASH diet, all of that terrible pain and bloating went away very quickly!! It has never returned, along with the hypertension that was eliminated with the diet and the 90 pound large weight loss.

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I believe the research, without a single doubt, because the diet completely eliminated my hypertension without the need for drugs.  In 2009, just before I started DASH diet at the recommendation of my doctor, my blood pressure was 170/90.  I lost 90 pounds in 18 months with DASH diet/exercise.  It made me younger on the inside!  My blood pressure returned to normal and my hypertension has never returned.  Hoping to keep it that way by sticking to the DASH diet for the rest of my life!

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A wonderful video I wanted to share about the MIND diet, which is a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diets!!  It was developed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  I have followed a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diets, since June 2009!  As of this June it will be 10 years!   I made many changes since, including a switch to drinking red wine over white, which at the time I did not care for.  Now I far prefer red wine over white.
I was only instructed to follow the DASH diet by my Doctor back in 2009 for my hypertension, but I modified it, because both my mother and grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease. My grandmother who has now passed away, did not get it until later in her life, but my Mother, unfortunately, got the disease very early in life. She required hospitalization and full nursing care by age 70.  I figure if a hybrid MIND diet helps me avoid or even only develop the disease much much later in my life, then it will be worth it.

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Matching the right diet to your health and medical needs is very important and one of the reasons I believe the DASH diet my Doctor prescribed me, was so effective. It was exactly what I needed, at the right time to eliminate, a whole bunch of sickness and pain I was experiencing daily.

The diet not only eliminated my hypertension, but also enabled a 90 pound weight loss, which I have maintained for more than 5 years now.  In total, by continuing to follow the diet, it has enabled me to keep 130 pounds off my body from a highest weight point, of 274 pounds in my late 20’s.

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Good news for gout sufferers! The DASH diet can help prevent flares.  I hope it prevents development of the disease in old age, as I intend to follow the DASH  diet for life.   It makes a lot of sense what is good for keeping blood pressure down is also good for circulation problems, like gout.

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This was an important benefit of DASH diet that I hoped to reap for my own future, by getting my hypertension under control, considering dementia runs heavily in my family.

In addition to DASH diet and weight loss research, in preparation for my own weight loss process, I did a lot of reading about high blood pressure and dementia.  The connection made out there in research between the two diseases is incredibly convincing.  Best to take steps to prevent it, no matter how challenging, to live a long, healthy life with maximum cognitive capacity, for as long as possible.  Never giving up, is all you can ever do.

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I eat at least 30 grams of fibre every day. It helps keep me feeling full and my appetite under control.  Lots of research out there to support this, so instead of juicing, eat the whole fruit and water, leaving all the best stuff, the fibre in it.   There are lots of ways to make simple choices in the moment, that will increase your fibre intake, including choosing whole wheat and other whole grain breads over white.

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dieting-limitsWhen I was losing weight with DASH diet, I put into place the biggest changes I ever made to my diet over my entire lifetime, losing 24 pounds in the first 3 months of that 18 month weight loss process.  It was much harder at the upfront than my previous unsuccessful (long term) go-to weight loss strategies of switching to a paleo/atkins type diet with periods of fasting to lose weight.

I had to learn a whole new way to eat and in the end those big changes stuck like the others never did, ensuing the weight was never regained. I also still weight myself every day or every second day at a minimum.

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New research showing DASH diet lowers the risk of both stroke and hypertension. Of course, stroke risk is related to hypertension and one of the key reasons, in addition to weight loss, I was so keen to follow the diet. I also hoped to reduce my future risk of Alzheimers and dementia, both of which run in my family.

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Fortunately I dislike bacon since I started the DASH diet.  After my taste buds adjusted to the lower sodium intake, foods like bacon became distasteful to me.  We don’t eat any processed meat at home, although my husband has it occasionally when we eat out.  The fact that it doesn’t even taste good anymore, means I don’t feel like I am missing out at all.

I do drink regularly red wine though as part of the MIND diet recommendations, because Alzheimer’s and dementia run heavily in my family.

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