Diet Approach to Stop Hypertension or commonly abbreviated as DASH is a type of diet that was originally intended for people with hypertension. As it develops, this low salt diet is increasingly recommended because it is beneficial for maintaining heart health, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and even losing weight.
The principle of the DASH diet
The main principle of the DASH diet is to consume foods that are low in salt (sodium) and increase intake of natural foods, not processed food products. Vegetable foods consumed on this low-salt diet include vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and various vegetable oils.
Meanwhile, sources of animal foods in this diet include lean red meat, fish, chicken and low-fat dairy products. While the types of foods challenged in this diet are foods high in sodium, sugar, and fat
A low salt diet does not directly aim at weight loss. However, people who go on this diet usually experience weight loss as an effect of reducing sodium intake. This is supported by research in Spain in 2014 which found that sodium intake can gain weight, even trigger obesity.
Low salt diet for weight loss
Based on the maximum sodium intake limit, this low salt diet is divided into two types. The standard DASH diet limits sodium intake to below 2,300 milligrams per day, whereas the Low Sodium DASH diet that is recommended for hypertensive patients, should limit sodium intake below 1,300 milligrams a day.
The DASH diet should be gradual, so you don’t need to drastically reduce sodium intake immediately. After knowing what the maximum sodium intake you can consume, here’s how to do it:
1. Choose the right food ingredients
So that the low-salt diet that you do is not in vain, you also have to pay attention to the type of servings of serpentine foods. Of course, choose healthy foods and avoid processed food products. Here are some examples of DASH diet dishes that you can try:
150 grams of cooked oatmeal with cinnamon powder
1 slice of whole wheat bread with low-fat butter
150 mL nonfat milk
Tuna salad is made from 50 grams of tuna without salt, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 15 grapes, celery, and 50 grams of lettuce
150 mL nonfat milk
150 grams of wheat spaghetti with 100 grams of marinara sauce without salt
100 gram mixed salad
1 slice of small wheat bread with 1 teaspoon of olive oil
2. Reducing sodium intake
You need sodium to maintain body fluid balance, but if the levels of this substance are too high, it will cause hypertension. Besides being found in table salt, these nutrients are also commonly found in canned foods, instant foods, dry foods, sweets, sauces, salad dressings, and junk food.
To reduce sodium intake, start by limiting the amount of salt you consume so it does not exceed 1 teaspoon a day. Also pay attention to the amount and percentage of sodium adequacy on the packaging label when you buy food or drink.
3. Monitor incoming calories
Monitoring your daily calorie intake will help optimize the function of a low salt diet. To do this, you do not need to reduce food portions on a large scale. You can do it in a safer way as follows:
- Eat fruits as a snack.
- Change the proportion of food to More vegetables than meat.
- Replace ice cream with yogurt.
- Use low-fat salad dressing and dressing.
- Check the packaging label between two or three similar products to get the product with the fewest calories.
- Eat small portions gradually.
Another factor that is also important for weight loss with a low salt diet is the need for adequate fluids, both from drinking water and other sources of fluids. However, avoid consuming sugary drinks that contain high amounts of sugar.