DASH - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
The DASH diet is a dietary pattern promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung to prevent and control hypertension. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts and beans; and is limited in sugar,sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. In addition to its effect on blood pressure, it is designed to be a well-balanced approach.
Hypertension in India – Definition, Prevalence and Evaluation
High blood pressure (BP) is an important cardiovascular risk factor. Hypertension experts still debate on the level of BP considered abnormal. The currently accepted dividing line is systolic BP > or = 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP > or = 90 mm Hg based on
epidemiological and intervention studies. In India, hypertension has become a major health problem. Epidemiological studies show a steadily increasing trend in hypertension prevalence over the last 40 years, more in urban than in the rural areas. This is converse to findings reported from developed countries where there is a significant decrease in its prevalence. Objectives of clinical evaluation of hypertensive individual are: To establish that BP is elevated, to seek evidence for a causal or contributory factor which may influence management, to assess target organ involvement and to assess relevant factors which will influence the particular mode of treatment to be adopted. Proper measurement techniques are important for diagnosis of hypertension. A basic, simple screening programme is the most appropriate policy for investigating the majority of hypertensive patients. Assessment of target organ involvement is important and can be obtained from history, physical examination or investigations. Studies of hypertension in general population have shown that secondary hypertension with high BP is present in 1.1% to 5.7% of subjects. Hypertension is a prevalent problem in our society.
Guidelines for DASH Diet:-
- Limit daily sodium intake by consuming between 1500 mg and 2300 mg per day.
- Limit your consumption of Trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Increase the number of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods.
- Increase fiber intake by choosing whole grain products.
- Limit the amount of sugar and sugar derivatives in your diet.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
- Follow a moderate exercise program for at least 30 minutes per day such as brisk walking, weight training, biking or aerobics.
Deep fried foods and other processed foods are considered the most unhealthy foods that contain minimum nutrition and maximum calories that are responsible for weight gain & lifestyle related health disorders. What is often forgotten yet an important culprit behind weight gain & health issues is excessive salt consumption.
The daily requirement of sodium is 2300 mg, as per the Indian guidelines of dietary intake, which is got from 5 grams of salt. The most important mineral got from salt is sodium that has many health benefits like enzyme operation and muscle contraction and fluid regulation in the system. This requirement is easily met by the regular meals in the home cooked food.
It’s not about the regular salt content in the home cooked food but the consumption of extra salt through foods like Pickles, chutneys, sauces and ketchups, papads, chips and salted biscuits, savoury items, cheese and salted butter, canned foods (vegetables, dals & meats), bakery products, ready made soup powders, dried salted fish, smoked meats, chinese food. These were some of the obvious products but there are still some not so obvious pre-packaged products that might be harming you. Here is how : to improve the shelf life of a food product preservatives are used. Besides many chemicals that are used to preserve food the two most common artificial or natural preservatives used are salt or sugar. Both are equally harmful for health if taken in large quantities over a period of time. Read more
People struggling with excess weight or simply being over weight find it the most difficult to lose weight even though they know that all they need to do is eat healthy and exercise to lose weight. But despite that why are overweight people considered lazy? Maybe they are not as active as thin people but there is a definitive reason behind it.
As one starts putting on weight is gained it gets difficult to move the body with ease and the easiness that a fit man would experience. The weight is exercising pressure on all the joints in the body impairing agile movements. Carrying excess weight overtime can result in hormonal imbalance causing disorders like hypothyroid, diabetes, PCOS etc. Overweight people also find it maintain body balance . This might prevent them from participating in activities like jogging, running etc. For most over weight people exercise is very stressful for the body. Besides they suffer from high blood pressure, their joints are under pressure and they tend to get tired very easily.
Here are some easy ways to get you started on a weight loss plan with ease:
Managing Nutrition: The ideal way forward is by revising your daily nutrition intake. The idea is not to suddenly cut your calorie intake by half but to slowly start reducing the non-nutritional foods from the daily diet. The main point to be calorie intake has to be reduced over a period of time yet as all these problems surface before a overweight person while losing weight, there are ways that you can start losing weight. Read more
Increased body fat percentage and being overweight result in lifestyle disorders that cause heart disease, hypothyroid, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Excessive saturated fat consumption increases the cholesterol levels in the body. Certain types of fat are bad for health and some are equally important which are commonly referred to us essential fat without which the body will fail to absorb and process nutrition in the body. Read here to know more about this.
The distribution of fat varies between gentics and gender. Women tend to store more subcutaneous fat which is under their skin. Distribution of fat in women is generally in their hips and thighs area while men tend to store more fat in the middle area or the abdomen. Once the person enters adolescence the fat cells don’t increase in number instead they only increase or decrease in size. Its the male and female hormone that decide the fat deposit destination in the body. For example women with big bellies are considered to have higher levels of testosterone ( male hormone) in their system that causes fat accumulation on the stomach. While if men have large hips its due to the high levels of estrogen (female hormone) in that body part.
We presume that fat people are more prone to metabolic disorder ( also known as lifestyle disorders) but a study by Ruth Loos at the Medical Research Council in the U.K. found that lean people with a specific genetic variant were equally at risk of diabetes, heart disease even though the reports confirmed lower fat percentage in the body. Read more