Diet For High Blood Pressure

Diet for high blood pressure and you diet for good health. But must you exercise, lose weight and cut down salt? Learn this when you read about the one diet that really works...

And that one diet is:

The DASH Diet:

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet is the only one recommended by the Joint National Committee (JNC) on Prevention, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

A good scientific study on this diet for high blood pressure was done by the DASH Collaborative Research Group and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious American medical journal.

This DASH diet for high blood pressure is low in fats, saturated fats and cholesterol and therefore low in red meat and high-fat dairy products, also processed and canned foods.

It is higher in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy as well as fish, whole grain products, nuts and poultry.

Also the DASH diet is rich in Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium.

Here is a quick overview of the foods contained in the DASH diet:

  1. GRAINS: 6 to 8 servings daily.
  2. VEGETABLES: 4 to 5 servings daily.
  3. FRUITS: 4 to 5 servings daily.
  4. LOW-FAT MILK AND SIMILAR PRODUCTS: 2 to 3 servings daily.
  5. LEAN MEAT, POULTRY AND FISH: 6 or less servings daily.
  6. NUTS, SEEDS AND LEGUMES: 1 or less servings daily.
  7. FATS AND OILS: 2 to 3 servings daily.
  8. SWEETS AND ADDED SUGARS: Less than one servings daily. (The less the better).

Their Findings:

The first study: This compared a normal American diet to a diet containing extra fruits and vegetables and also to the DASH diet. All contained about 3,000 mg of Sodium (per day).

The diet with extra fruits and vegetables did lower blood pressure significantly but the DASH diet lowered blood pressure even more. Note: This occurred within two weeks!

The second study: This compared two diets, the usual American one and the DASH diet for high blood pressure. Both of these were divided into three groups of salt level: 3,300 mg per day, 2,300 mg per day and 1,500 mg per day.
Note: The usual American male intake of Sodium is 4,200 mg per day, for women it is 3,300 mg per day.

At each Sodium level the DASH plan people had lower blood pressure but the lower the Sodium level the more blood pressure lowering occurred. The greatest reduction was with the DASH plan and the lowest Sodium intake. The results were described as dramatic.

In summary: The participants did not have to lose weight or reduce salt to benefit from a diet for high blood pressure. However, those who reduced Sodium (salt) received more benefit proportionally. Weight loss further increases the reduction and so does exercise but these were not measured factors in this study.

Doctor’s Practical Guide:

For years in private practice I felt bad because so very few of my diabetic patients were following a diabetic diet which is the single best thing a diabetic can do for their disease.

One day I asked a diabetes specialist how many of his diabetic patients followed a diabetic diet? He immediately replied, “None”. Well, after that I didn’t feel as bad, it wasn’t just me.

It is not that I want to make derogatory remarks about diabetic patients but to illustrate the fact that we humans find it very difficult to diet. There are very few people who can take home a diet for high blood pressure and follow it.

Note: Reducing dietary salt is one of the least difficult diet changes to make.

How to get around this difficulty? It is much less difficult when you do it a little at a time. Most of us can do it this way:

1. Download and copy or send in the mail for a copy of the DASH diet.

2. Take your time and learn and remember generally what foods to eat and what foods to avoid.

3. Just start to gradually wean yourself and your family away from the bad foods and eating the better foods. Take whatever time is necessary. Change one meal (permanently) every week or two. A year, two years is OK. Don’t forget:

Any little thing you do is better than nothing!

A lot of little things added together is a completed project!

P.S: Just a reminder that the only way to know whether your dietary changes are making a difference is to take your blood pressure yourself. It’s not difficult at all, it’s easy. See my page on How and Why here How To Take Blood Pressure

I have written an instruction manual in ebooklet form so be sure to see it and its table of contents at How To Take Blood Pressure Booklet


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