DASH Diet Health Benefits for Older Adults | AU Small Finance Bank
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The Benefits of a DASH Diet for Older Adults

    DASH Diet, the popular title for ‘Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension,’ aims to prevent hypertension, otherwise known as abnormally high blood pressure. In this blog, we show you how you can benefit from incorporating it in your life.
    The DASH diet is a healthy way of eating that focuses largely on plant-based or vegetarian foods, many of which are rich in antioxidants. Health experts recommend switching to the DASH diet if you want to prevent your body from developing health issues in later life, therefore it is a perfect diet plan for senior citizens. Experts urge you to gradually and slowly follow the diet plan, so that it becomes part of your daily routine. Apart from controlling high blood pressure, the DASH diet offers a variety of health benefits.
    • Aids Weight Loss:

      The DASH diet is not designed for weight loss, per se, however, it is high in fiber and cuts out a lot of high-fat and sugary foods. Hence, people may find that they have automatically lost weight.
    • Decreases Cancer Risk:

      A recent review indicated that people following the DASH diet had a lower risk of some cancers. DASH is low in red meat. This is important for cancer prevention because a high intake of red meat and processed meats is linked to colon cancer, rectum cancer, stomach cancer, esophagus cancer, prostate cancer and kidney cancer.
    • Cuts Heart Failure Risk:

      Studies reveal that those individuals under 70-75 who most closely adhere to the DASH diet had a significantly lower risk of developing heart failure than those whose eating habits did not adhere with the diet so much.
    • Lowers Diabetes Risk:

      The diet has also been linked to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Some studies demonstrate that it can improve insulin resistance as well.
    The key to any new diet success is not making drastic changes all at one time. It takes time to develop new eating habits and to make new food choices. So, try making one change at a time and add another when you feel that you have successfully adopted the earlier changes.

    How to Implement the DASH Diet

    The DASH diet is more of a lifestyle change than a strict diet. It encourages you to reduce sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, etc.
    This plan suggests:
    • Adding more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes in the diet
    • Increasing daily intake of dairy products
    • Replacing enriched flour bread with whole-grain bread
    • Eliminating or limiting red meat 
    • Limiting artificial sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets
    • Avoiding alcohol intake
    • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat. Avoiding junk food/ processed food.
    You can follow the DASH diet plan by using common food ingredients available in your local grocery store. The plan includes daily servings from different food groups. Here are the recommended servings from each food group for a DASH diet plan.
    • Grains - 6–8 servings (per day)
    • Meats, poultry, and fish - 6 or fewer servings (per day)
    • Vegetables and fruits - 4–5 servings (per day)
    • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products - 2–3 servings (per day)
    • Fats and oils – 2-3 servings (per day)
    • Sodium - 2,300 mg servings (per day)
    • Nuts, seeds - 4–5 servings weekly
    Note: The number of servings depends on your daily calorie (energy) needs. To figure out your calorie needs, you can consult a doctor or a dietician. The local doctor or dietitian will help you with a good diet plan as per your health needs and requirement. A variety of DASH diet cookbooks are also available for purchase online.
    Remember, the DASH diet plan is just one key part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Combining it with other lifestyle changes such as exercise, meditation and good sleep, will help you control blood pressure and other illness for a lifetime.