The DASH diet is a heart-healthy diet designed to increase intake of nutrients (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium) that should help lower blood pressure. Controlled studies have found that decreases in high blood pressure may begin within two weeks of starting the diet. In addition, blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol may begin to lower within two months.
Consuming less salt when following the DASH diet is even more effective for lowering blood pressure, and a salt-controlled DASH diet further improves heart disease and diabetes risk factors such as unstable blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol levels in people who have the insulin-resistance (metabolic) syndrome. This diet has also been shown to improve indicators of osteoporosis risk.