Cases of heart and cardiovascular diseases are rising across the globe. According to the data provided by the World Health Organization, more than 17.9 million people are suffering from a heart disease. This doesn’t happen overnight but as a product of your lifestyle. Experts mention time and again that cardiovascular diseases are preventable. A person who follows a healthy and active lifestyle can easily avert the risk of developing heart and cardiovascular diseases.
One of the habits that double the risk of heart problems is excess intake of salt. We all know that table salt is not good for health, particularly heart. The DASH diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet is found to be effective in preventing heart diseases. This diet was mainly designed for hypertension patients to manage their condition, related symptoms and possible complications. A study has now found that a DASH diet can reduce the risk of heart diseases by 10%.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) at Harvard Medical School conducted research and found that consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables with reduced salt intake can be beneficial for heart health.
The DASH diet
Dietary approaches to stop hypertension is an eating plan which is focused on reducing blood pressure and managing hypertension conditions. This diet focused on eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Apart from this, you are supposed to have low-fat dairy products, foods that are low in saturated fats and reduce intake of sweets and refined sugar. The most important point of a DASH diet is reduced intake of table salt. The idea behind this is to cut down sodium which is catastrophic to health.
To conduct this research, over 400 participants were divided into three groups and different groups were put on different diets for eight weeks. The BMI, physical activity and hypertension status of all the participants were nearly similar. One group was put on a normal diet, the second group was put on a high fruits and vegetables diet and the third group was put on a DASH diet.
After 8 weeks, researchers used the Pooled Cohort Equation to calculate ASCVD(atherosclerotic CVD) risk. Results showed people who followed a DASH diet had a 10.3% lesser risk of CVD as compared to other people. People on a fruits and vegetables diet showed 9% lesser risk.
This shows that including fruits and vegetables in your diet can be great for heart health. If you can eliminate salt from your diet, it can add to the benefits.
Image credits- freepik