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According to the American Heart Association, the DASH diet, developed at the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre, is now recommended as the top eating plan for promoting heart health and reducing high blood pressure. The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, has been recognized since 1997 and has been widely cited by researchers.

American Heart Association recommends a DASH diet for a healthy heart

Although for years, the Mediterranean diet has been the most popular way of eating for a healthy heart, the American Heart Association is now recommending the DASH diet as the go-to alternative for a healthy heart and high blood pressure reduction. It is worth noting that the DASH diet emphasizes limiting excessive carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, making it ideal for individuals with heart disease, diabetes and general well-being.

Registered dietician at Pennington Biomedical, Dr Catherine Champagne, said that although the DASH diet is a popular alternative for individuals with diabetes or a history of cardiovascular disease, it can be a plan for everyone since it is easy to adhere to.

The DASH diet, which adheres to the American Heart Association’s guidelines, scored perfectly in an assessment of popular dietary patterns. It emphasizes reducing unhealthy fats and excessive carbohydrates, leading to improved heart and metabolic health and a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the diet considers factors such as personal and cultural preferences, as well as the individual’s grocery budget.

DASH recommends foods low in salt

Stanford University’s Rehnbor Farquah Professor of Medicine Christopher Gardner added that there is a growing list of popular diets in the past few years with the amount of misinformation about them at high levels. He explained that there might be confusion among the general public about heart-healthy eating as some may feel they don’t have the training or time to evaluate different diets.

Interestingly, with the DASH diet, someone doesn’t have to eat a specific food but instead recommends taking food low in salt and limiting processed foods, tropical oil, alcohol, and excess sugar. The diet promotes the consumption of non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits.