2500 Calorie Dash Diet Plan
When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be hard to know which diet is the right choice for your lifestyle.
One serious contender is the 2500 Calorie DASH diet, which has been repeatedly ranked by US News as the best overall diet.
So what is the 2500 Calorie DASH diet? It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. In other words, it’s a plan for lowering blood pressure and treating hypertension.
That’s because reducing salt intake is key to heart health—and the DASH diet is low in sodium.
The goal of the 2500 Calorie DASH diet plan isn’t just to lower your blood pressure; it also aims to improve your overall health by addressing other risk factors such as diabetes and high cholesterol.
Another benefit of the DASH diet plan is that it’s easy to follow—even if you’ve never tried a diet before.
There are no special foods or supplements necessary, and most people can stick with them without feeling deprived.
How Does the Dash Diet Work?
The 2500 Calorie DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension).
The diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
By following the 2500 Calorie DASH diet, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks.
Over time, the top number of your blood pressure (systolic blood pressure) could drop by eight to 14 points, which can make a significant difference in your health risks.
Although the 2500 Calorie DASH diet has been shown to lower blood pressure in two weeks, it’s recommended that you follow the plan for at least two months before expecting any significant improvements in your blood pressure.
In addition to lowering blood pressure, the 2500 Calorie DASH diet has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles among people with metabolic syndrome, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes.
Many elements of the DASH diet are backed by sound science. For example, research shows that reducing sodium intake can improve cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of osteoporosis at any age.
Benefits of the Dash Diet
You are probably wondering if the 2500 Calorie DASH diet comes with any benefits. Well, it does and here are some of them.
1. Weight Loss
The DASH diet can help you lose weight because it’s low in calories and high in nutrients, but it does not have a weight-loss plan. You must reduce calories for weight loss.
Consult a registered dietitian for a personalized dietary plan.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute notes that people who lose weight gradually tend to keep it off longer than those who follow fad diets.
However, you may need to make one or more changes to your lifestyle to maintain your weight loss.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
The 2500 Calorie DASH diet also helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It does so by encouraging you to eat fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, which all contain fiber.
Fiber helps to slow the absorption of carbohydrates, which can help prevent spikes in blood sugar after eating.
3. Reduced Cancer Risk
Nutrition and cancer are interconnected. There is overwhelming evidence that many types of cancers can be prevented or delayed by consuming an optimal diet.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meats and low-fat dairy products.
The incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease is lower in people who consume a DASH-style diet than in those who do not.
Preliminary research suggests that the DASH diet may have anticancer effects.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, diets high in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
4. Stronger Bones
The 2500 Calorie DASH diet is rich in minerals, including calcium and magnesium, which are essential for building and maintaining strong bones.
In a study of people at least 50 years old, those who followed the DASH diet had greater increases in bone mineral density than those who followed a standard American diet.
Furthermore, the DASH diet reduced urinary excretion of calcium and increased urinary excretion of magnesium and ammonium — factors that contribute to stronger bones.
Higher intakes of calcium and magnesium are also associated with lower rates of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by brittle bones that are more prone to fracture
5. Better Kidney Health
The 2500 Calorie DASH diet may also help improve conditions associated with kidney disease.
One study found that people with early-stage kidney disease who followed the DASH diet had significantly reduced proteinuria (excessive levels of protein in the urine), which is an indication of kidney damage.
6. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Following the 2500 Calorie DASH diet can lower your risk of heart disease. The original DASH research found that the diet lowered blood pressure in just two weeks.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with high blood pressure, adopting this eating plan can improve your cardiovascular health and help prevent heart disease down the road.
7. Improved Insulin Resistance
One of the major health benefits of the DASH diet is improved insulin resistance.
The 2500 Calorie DASH diet isn’t specifically a diabetic diet, but it does help to reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body move sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells so that your cells have enough energy to function properly.
When you eat carbohydrates, insulin moves excess sugar into your fat cells so that it doesn’t build up in your bloodstream.
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in your muscles, fat and liver do not respond normally to insulin and can’t easily absorb sugar from your blood.
This sugar buildup may lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later in life.
Why is the DASH Diet Important?
About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure — that’s one out of every three people.
High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States.
Although there are many ways to treat high blood pressure, adopting certain lifestyle habits can help improve your blood pressure without using medication.
Eating nutritious foods in moderation and exercising regularly can help lower high blood pressure without medication or surgery.
Printable 2500 Calorie Dash Diet Plan in PDF
|1||1 hardboiled egg, 1 slice of toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter||1 cup of low-fat milk or yogurt||½ cup of tuna, 1 slice of toast and 1 cup of low-fat milk||2 ounces of meat, 1 cup of green beans, 1 small potato|
|2||1 cup all-bran cereal and skim milk||½ cup of sliced strawberries||Grilled chicken with salad||Steamed salmon with broccoli|
|3||Oatmeal with skim milk and bananas||fruit, yogurt, hard-boiled egg||Tuna sandwich on whole grain bread and salad||Chicken with brown rice and broccoli|
|4||Egg white omelet with vegetables and low-fat cheese, coffee or tea||Granola bar||Turkey wrap with lettuce and tomato||Rotisserie chicken with brown rice and mixed vegetables|
|5||1 cup oatmeal with fresh berries, 1 cup nonfat milk||Fruit smoothie||4 ounces broiled salmon, 2 cups steamed broccoli florets,||½ baked potato topped with ¼ cup fat-free sour cream and chives|
|6||2 slices whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon peanut butter||Carrot sticks||3 oz. roasted turkey breast; 1 cup brown rice||4 oz. lean beef patty; 2 cups spinach salad with tomato|
|7||1 slice whole wheat toast with ½ banana sliced on top||1 cup yogurt||6 oz. boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce; ½ avocado sliced over romaine lettuce||1 serving Shrimp Curry; 1 c brown rice Pilaf|