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What Is the Dash diet?

 If you've never heard of the DASH or Dietary Approval trial, it's time you learn about it. The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approval Trial Research, is an experiment in a controlled nutrition study. This is conducted by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The purpose of the DASH trial is to determine if there is any truth to the often-heard statement that high blood pressure can be prevented or controlled by eating healthy foods and avoiding salt.

The DASH diet isn't a diet in the strictest sense. It isn't like something you can only eat for a week, take during pregnancy, or fast for. The DASH trial gives participants a free pass to eat as much red meat, fried foods, processed foods, and other unhealthy food they want; just as long as they don't exceed a certain level of cholesterol and blood pressure. The goal of the DASH diet, and the general American diet in general, are to reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol while increasing HDL, or good cholesterol. The belief is that increased HDL helps control high blood pressure or hypertension.

If you're wondering what the DASH diet isn't, it isn't a diet that forces you to give up all your favorite foods. There are no diets that prohibit you from enjoying your favorite past-times, or from enjoying fruits, vegetables, or dairy products. Although these foods have been deemed high in cholesterol and blood pressure risks, the DASH trial has found that replacing them with lower-sugar, lower-fat options can help you reduce your risk.

The question of what is the DASH diet? The DASH (Dietary Approval Trial) is actually a diet, not a disease. It's a way to keep your blood pressure low, so you can avoid having to deal with the complications of heart disease. It's a lower-risk diet, meaning that the foods you should be eating won't cause your blood pressure to go through the crazy fluctuations that come with high cholesterol levels. It's a healthy diet that's geared towards people who want to live healthily, so they can lead longer lives. But more importantly, it's a trial-and-error program that you can use to get your blood pressure where it should be.

In order to make sure that you're following the guidelines of the DASH Diet, you'll need to know what the DASH score is. Your score is basically the number arrived at by a medical research team that specializes in hypertension research. They take into consideration factors like your height, your age, your gender, how many pounds you weigh, your diet, whether or not you smoke, if you drink, if you're overweight if you have any existing heart conditions, and any medication that you're taking. All of these things add up, and then they decide what the definition of hypertension is based on your answers to these questions. Once they arrive at the number, you're going to have a pretty good idea of what the normal range for your numbers should be.

If you feel like you're doing all right, but you're still not in the normal range, don't panic. This doesn't mean that you need to give up the diet entirely. The DASH program is designed to help you slowly, safely, and effectively lower your numbers over time. With the proper support and some helpful tools, you can do it on your own, at your own pace, and you'll see long-term, safe, numbers.