Eat well, live well: the powerful benefits of the DASH diet

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Not too long ago, a group of researchers at Johns Hopkins carried out a study. They found something interesting.

People who ate food according to the DASH diet were less likely to get chronic kidney disease. But what is the DASH diet?

The DASH diet, also known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, is a simple way of eating that helps to lower blood pressure.

It includes lots of nuts, legumes (like beans and lentils), whole grains (like oatmeal and brown rice), fruits, and vegetables.

It suggests low-fat dairy products and fewer red meats, processed foods, sugary drinks, and salt.

This kind of diet has been known to prevent other serious health problems, like heart disease. Now, this new study suggests that it can help avoid kidney disease too.

How the Study Was Conducted

The study started way back in 1987 with the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. The ARIC Study followed the health of 15,792 middle-aged people for over 20 years.

These people were not told what to eat. However, the researchers checked what they ate and scored their food habits based on the DASH diet guidelines.

A low score meant eating more red and processed meat, sweetened drinks, and salt. A high score meant eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy.

The Important Findings of the Study

The results of the study were pretty interesting. People with low DASH diet scores (those who ate less healthy food and more unhealthy food) were 16 percent more likely to get kidney disease.

On the other hand, people with high DASH diet scores (those who ate more healthy food and less unhealthy food) were less likely to get kidney disease.

People who ate a lot of red and processed meats were at a 22 percent higher risk of getting kidney disease than people who ate less of these foods.

People who ate a lot of nuts and legumes were at a 9 percent lower risk of getting kidney disease than those who ate less of these foods.

Why the DASH Diet May Help Prevent Kidney Disease

The researchers think the DASH diet helps to prevent kidney disease because it is known to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure has been linked to kidney disease.

Another reason could be related to the amount of “dietary acid load” or overall acidity in the foods we eat. Eating less acidic food might help keep our kidneys healthy.

The researchers also found out that people who had normal weight and followed the DASH diet were less likely to get kidney disease than overweight or obese people.

The study was carried out by Casey M. Rebholz and his team and was published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

The DASH diet is not just good for lowering blood pressure; it can also help prevent kidney disease.

The diet encourages us to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy and to eat less red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and salt.

It’s a simple, easy-to-follow diet that could make a big difference in your health.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

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