DASH Diet for People with High Blood Pressure

DASH diet lowers blood pressure

The DASH diet is one of the more common treatment options for patients with high blood pressure. Its name stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Clinically tested, the DASH diet lowers blood pressure and promotes healthy eating habits.

How the DASH Diet Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to many health complications. They include damage to blood vessels, cognitive impairments, kidney failure, and stroke. To prevent them, people with high blood pressure first need to change their dietary habits.

The DASH diet aims to replace unhealthy foods with natural sources of important nutrients. These include calcium, magnesium, and potassium. At the same time, the patients reduce their intake of foods rich in sodium. That’s because sodium has a negative effect on your blood pressure.

As such, the DASH diet lowers blood pressure by up to two full points in as many weeks. What’s more, it may even lower your blood pressure by eight to 14 points over a longer period of time.

Different Versions of the Diet

One of the main aims of the DASH diet is to lower your intake of sodium. The standard version allows you to eat up to 2,300mg of sodium each day. The lower sodium version, as its name suggests, allows for consumption of no more than 1,500mg of it a day.

Because it promotes healthy eating habits, people also use this diet to help them lose weight. There are thus several different versions based on the recommended daily calorie intake.

What You Can Eat

Here are some food groups you can eat while on the DASH diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Up to 5 times a day.
  • Whole grains. Up to 8 times a day.
  • Fish and poultry. Up to 5 times a day.
  • Healthy fats and oils. Up to 3 times a day.
  • Dairy products. Up to 2 times a day.

You can also eat sweets, nuts, and legumes a few times each week. The servings are usually small and depend on your calorie intake limitations.

Final Word

By cutting down your sodium consumption, the DASH diet lowers blood pressure. In its place, it introduces many healthy sources of valuable nutrients to your diet. Like any diet, sticking to it may be hard at first. If you experience any problems, talk to your doctor to get professional advice.

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