What Is a DASH Diet?
DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a diet program specifically designed to cater to reducing the risk, lowering and managing hypertension (high blood pressure) in individuals. High blood pressure has been closely linked to heart diseases, kidney failure and stroke.
As stated in healthline, the low salt DASH diet could bring about a reduction of an average 12 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 5 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure for individuals who have hypertension. This is significant in reducing the health risks but has to be a long term effort in sticking to the diet program. 
How Does DASH Diet Work
To put simply, the DASH diet encourages healthy eating through emphasis on fruits, whole grain, lean meat and vegetables, and shaving off foods that are high in saturated / trans fats, sugary desserts and beverages, oily and deep fried foods.
The DASH program also puts a cap on the amount of sodium consumed. From limiting to about 2400 mg (1 teaspoon) per day to gradually lowering to about 1,500 mg (⅔ teaspoon) daily.
- Lowers blood pressure – Help patients manage their hypertension conditions or healthy individuals prevent high blood pressure
- May be able to assist in weight loss – by consuming a healthy spread that is calorie deficit, individuals can potentially lose weight.
- Reduce chances of heart diseases – a study indicated that the risks of cardiovascular diseases were cut by 20% while on DASH diets. 
- Helps with type 2 diabetes – A study concludes that the diet pattern may help with the improvement of insulin sensitivity. 
- Too little sodium intake can adversely affect health – can increase risks of cardiovascular diseases, increase bad cholesterol and insulin resistance. Always seek medical assistance when going on a DASH diet. 
What Do You Eat on The DASH Diet?
- Whole grain bread, pasta and cereal
- Lean meat, poultry and fish
- Green leafy vegetables
- Healthier oils : Olive oil, Canola Oil, flaxseed oil etc.
- Choose low or salt-free seasoning blends or herbs and spices
- Baked nuts and seeds
- Limit on sugary desserts and drinks
- Low fat dairy and food options
- Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons
- Berries such as strawberries and blueberries
- Melons such as watermelons and cantaloupes
What Is Not Allowed On The Dash Diet?
In general, the DASH diet requires individuals to avoid unhealthy foods, this includes processed foods, deep fried, sugared desserts and beverages. The key is to keep the sodium intake in check and also to consume nutritionally balanced meals.
Where Do You Get Your DASH Diet In Singapore?
Salt is hidden in many unassuming parts of your meal, and making slight changes to these choices when eating out can have significant changes in the amount of sodium intake in the long run.
When eating out, consider going for less or no gravy as sodium is high in the sauces. Also, when consuming soup based meals, avoid drinking the soup. When ordering up sides, consider going for the non processed options, whole vegetables and meat are choice options.
Always request for lesser salt when your food gets prepared, and limit dips such as chilli sauce, soy sauce or ketchup.
Healthier option takeout such as the ones offered by FattyMummyFattyDaddy, offers menus that are free from processed foods, with zero MSG and uses healthier oils.
Similarly, HappyMamaPapa catering offers healthy low salt tingkat home cooked meals that are suitable for the whole family.
Yeyeah Delights offers catering that contains no preservatives and their dietician approved fresh chilled meals are ready to eat within 2.5 minutes of reheating.
Cooking at home
Preparing healthier dishes at home is easy. The key is to opt for whole foods and meat, avoid processed meat like ham and sausages. Lightly stir fried leafy vegetables with natural seasoning and brown rice. Snack on baked nuts instead of potato chips and consume fruits after meals instead of desserts such as ice cream.
Can you drink coffee on the DASH diet?
Yes. But choose low fat dairy milk and go easy on the sugar.
Can I eat eggs on the DASH diet?
Yes. Eggs are high in nutrition but prepare them either hard boiled or fry them in healthier oils such as olive oil.
Can you eat chicken on the DASH diet?
Yes. Chicken breasts are the leanest and most nutritional. Avoid the skin and prepare the meat by steaming or lightly stir frying. Avoid deep frying.
Are potatoes allowed on a DASH diet?
Yes. Air frying french fries is a great and healthier alternative to the traditional deep frying method, but avoid seasoning it with too much salt.
You may also like to read our article on Keto Diet in Singapore.