Lower high blood pressure with the DASH eating plan

Following specific meal plans to reduce blood pressure.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have conducted studies which show that blood pressure is reduced when people followed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. According to Health experts one out of three adults have hypertension – when blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. It is recommended that adults should have blood pressure less than 120/80. The DASH diet includes:

  • Eating more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods
  • Eating fewer foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat
  • Eating more whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts
  • Eating less red meat and sweets
  • Reducing sodium (salt) to 1,500 milligrams a day (about 2/3 teaspoon)

The DASH diet takes in to consideration daily recommended calorie needs. See the chart example below, from www.dashdiet.org

Type of food

Number of servings for 1,600–3,100 calorie diets

Servings on a 2,000 calorie diet

Grains and grain products
(include at least three whole grain foods each day)

6 – 12

7 – 8

Fruits

4 – 6

4 – 5

Vegetables

4 – 6

4 – 5

Low-fat or non-fat dairy foods

2 – 4

2 – 3

Lean meats, fish, poultry

1.5 – 2.5

Two or less

Nuts, seeds and legumes

3 – 6 per week

4 – 5 per week

Fats and sweets

2 – 4

It has also been recommended to include:

  • Small (four to five) servings of nuts, seeds and legumes per week, including some fats and oils (two to three servings) – one tablespoon of low-fat mayo, one teaspoon of margarine or two tablespoons of light salad dressing.
  • Sugar or sweets: Five or fewer times per week. This could be one tablespoon of sugar, jelly or jam, 1/2 a sorbet or eight ounces of lemonade. Try fat-free and low-fat sweets.

If consuming alcohol, keep in mind the recommended alcohol consumption levels, which is two drinks for men and one for women. Eating more fruits, vegetables and dairy products supply potassium, magnesium and calcium, which supply major minerals and nutrients and have been shown to reduce blood pressure levels.

By reducing blood pressure you can avoid potential damage to your bodys major organs including arties, heart, brain and kidneys. Researchers from the New England Journal of Medicine have concluded that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods and with reduced saturated and total fat can substantially lower blood pressure. The DASH diet offers an additional nutritional approach to preventing and treating hypertension. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you first check doctor to ensure that the DASH diet is suitable for you.

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