A little-known diet that doesn’t receive nearly as much hype as other popular plans out there but is the ranked the number two diet according to US News & World Report, is the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension, but don’t think this is only for those with high blood pressure—it can be beneficial to anyone.
The DASH diet is great because, much like the Mediterranean Diet, it doesn’t require you to give up a whole lot. At its core, DASH requires you to be more mindful of your sodium intake, which will ultimately help rid your diet of processed foods, simple sugars, and foods high in saturated fats.
What does it allow?
DASH encourages you to eat more foods high in monosaturated fats (e.g., avocados and nuts), as well as striving to keep sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams a day. To make this easier, up your grains and servings of fruits and veggies.
How do I start?
A good way to get started on the DASH diet is to go through your current stocks of food. All those salty snacks and sweet treats will only tempt you as you begin this healthier approach to food. Other items that you may want to reconsider donating are canned goods—soups, sauces, and the like. This will encourage you to make your own and could result in a new classic family recipe!
What are the benefits?
As mentioned, this diet helps those with high blood pressure, as eating less processed foods naturally lowers the amount of sodium consumed. Higher sodium is also linked to depression, so DASH is beneficial to those who struggle with mental health as well. Overall, DASH promotes a generally healthier lifestyle that’s attainable due to its less restrictive approach to dieting, and is well worth trying out.