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If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, cozarr such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as heart disease and heart attacks.

Heart conditions are the biggest killers among Brits, and equally being overweight or obese puts a person at serious risk of life-threatening conditions.

Fortunately, one particular diet has been shown to help target almost all of these issues helping to extend your life and reduce the risk of age-related diseases.

The DASH diet – DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension – has four main principles people should follow to bring their blood pressure down.

These are:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Eat more whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts
  • Moderate your sodium, sweets and red meats (the DASH diet recommends no more than one teaspoon of salt per day).

What is the DASH diet?

The DASH diet doesn’t give you specific foods or meals to stick to, instead it suggests the servings of different food groups you should be eating.

It’s more like an overall adoption of a healthier lifestyle, encouraging people to swap unhealthy choices for more whole and natural foods.

The DASH diet then suggests you work out your daily calorie limit, and within this work out how much you can eat from the recommended servings.

To adhere to the DASH diet correctly, you need to reduce the amount of salt you eat.

UK HealthCare explained: "Choose fresh, frozen or canned vegetables that have low sodium or no added salt.

"Use fresh poultry, fish or meat instead of canned, smoked or processed."

Limit cured foods, such as bacon, ham, foods packed in brine and condiments.

To also lower your sodium intake, do not salt your pasta or rice, or add salt onto your food.

Instead, spices can be used to add flavour.

Healthy heart

A 2019 study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found close adherence to the DASH eating plan can slash your risk of heart failure.

The diet helps to lower cholesterol levels, which in turns keeps the heart healthy and reduces the risk of heart attacks.

The diet is also good for lowering the amount of salt consumed, which also helps for a healthy heart.

Weight loss

Reducing your intake of added sugars, refined grains, and processed foods makes the DASH diet much better for weight loss.

The DASH diet recommends that you track the number of servings you consume, and limit your intake of sodium and alcohol.

Couple this with an exercise regime, and weight loss will be achieved with the DASH diet.

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