==== ====Quality_Exercise and losing weight will bring you a range of important health benefitshttp://goo.gl/2qhFn==== ====A group of researchers from 5 major medical centers foundthat eating a specific diet rich in nutrient-dense fruitsand vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy can be apowerful tool in lowering blood pressure.The DASH DIET( Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) wasfound in 1996 to lower blood pressure about the same as ablood pressure medication would, and since that time hasquickly become one of the most often prescribed diets inclinical practice today.The DASH Diet is recommended by the American HeartAssociation, in the USDAs 2005 Dietary Guidelines forAmericans, and is featured in the US High Blood PressureGuidelines.The DASH DIET Study 459 people were chosen to participate in the DASH DIET Study. Theywere randomly assigned to one of three different types:·The "typical American diet"·A diet with more fruits and vegetables, but otherwisesimilar to the typical American diet·The "DASH diet" - rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fatdairy products; moderate in fish, poultry, and nuts; andreduced in red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened drinks.To assure they werent doing anything else that might lowertheir blood pressure, participants were asked not to makeany major changes in the physical activity levels during thestudy.Participants were weighed frequently to make sure theirweight stayed constant; if someone gained or lost weight,they were given a bit less or more food to eat to get theirweight back to what it was.Salt/sodium intake was the same in all three diets -
slightly lower than the U.S. average, but still higher thanwhat most guidelines recommended.The ResultsThose who ate the typical American diet did notsee a change in their blood pressure.Those on the fruit and vegetable diet experienced asignificant lowering of their systolic blood pressure - Theupper number, which is a measurement of blood pressure inthe arteries when the heart contracts to pump out blood -but little change in their diastolic pressure.But the men and women who ate the DASH DIET for eight weeks experienced a significant drop inboth their systolic anddiastolic blood pressure readings. Changes occurred within aweek of starting the DASH diet, stabilized within two weeks,and stayed lowered for the remainder of the eight weeks.On average, blood pressure fell 5.5 mmHg (systolic) and 3.0mmHg (diastolic) among all participants (including boththose with normal blood pressure and those withhypertension).In participants with high blood pressure, blood pressuredropped an average of 11.4 mmHg (systolic) and 5.5 mmHg(diastolic).These improvements in blood pressure are about the same aswhat can be achieved with a single antihypertensivemedication.There were positive health outcomes of the DASH diet beyondlowering high blood pressure.Most importantly, perhaps, the DASH diet lowered the studyparticipantscholesterol levels.When blood cholesterol is high, cholesterol and other fattysubstances collect on the walls of your blood vessels and intime restrict or block the flow of blood to your heart.High cholesterol, which is generally caused by a diet highin saturated fats, is a major risk factor for heart disease.The DASH diet is low in total and saturated fat.
People who ate the diet during the study, dropped theircholesterol 14 points. The "bad" cholesterol (LDL) fell 11points. The level of good cholesterol (HDL) also fell by 3.7points (this type of drop in HDL is seen when people reducetheir overall fat intake). Combining all the effects(changes in blood pressure, LDL, and HDL), there was animportant improvement in overall cardiac risk with the DASHDIET.A later study was done at the Boston University MedicalCenter, which offered the DASH Diet in an online form toemployees of a large US company.Over 4,000 people enrolled in the DASH DIET program.They received weekly email reminders to log in to the sitefor information on topics such as weight loss, exercise,reading food labels, grocery shopping and more.They also were encouraged to track the changes they made to their diet, exercise, weight andblood pressure online.After one year in the DASH DIET program, study participantshad lost weight and lowered their blood pressuresignificantly.They started eating more fruits and vegetables and movedfrom higher fat dairy products to lower fat versions.After the success of the DASH DIET program, the researchersdecided to offer the program to the general populationonline at DASH DIETThe reason the researchers think that the DASH DIET isperfect for all Americans is that it doesnt take a wholelot of learning.It deals with real foods that are easily found in everygrocery store across America, and allows dieters to choosehow they plan to meet their food servings goals with foodsthat they enjoy.==== ====Quality_Exercise and losing weight will bring you a range of important health benefits