Diet Tips to Lower Blood Pressure

August 2, 2006

2567559947.jpg DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension was developed by the National Institutes of Health to help lower blood pressure.  This diet has been proven to lower ones BP by as much as 14 mm Hg in as short as 2 weeks …not bad for a dietary intervention data.

So whats a DASH Diet Plan? Let’s review its components based on a 2000 calorie diet:

1. Grains: 7-8 servings. Whole grains are preferred because they contain more fiber. Wheat bread over regular bread; pasta made of wheat and brown rice are preferred choices. 

2.Fruits and Vegetables: 8-10 servings. These foods are packed with potassium and magnesium. while low in fat.  Magnesium deficiency is linked to high BP while high potassium can blunt the effect of sodium in raising BP thus intake of foods rich in both can have an impact in controlling ones BP.

3. Dairy: 2-3 servings.  The sources have to be low fat….and are rich sources of calcium. Calcium is important in BP regulation because any deficiency has been linked to high BP.

4. Meat: 2 servings or less. This can be a problem to meat lovers because this diet takes away the main focus of every meal and that is MEAT! For meat choices… avoid red meat and instead focus on chicken breast or fish…not fried but steamed, broiled or grilled.

5. Nuts and Beans: 4-5 servings. Almonds, kidney beans and lentils are excellent sources of potassium and magnesium. Soy beans as tofu are good sources of protein like meat and contains isoflavones shown to have health benefits.

Recently though a study showed that replacing some servings of carbohydartes with low fat protein and unsaturated fats like nuts, olive oil, fish and poultry lowered ones BP even more.

Lastly and very important is to cut back on sodium. Check my other post on practical tips to lower sodium in the diet. Likewise, to boosts the effect of DASH on BP is to incorporate physical activity.

The DASH diet may work not only for BP but also reduce ones risk for diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Thus in all likelihood…it’s a package deal worth trying…A Diet Focus on Grains Fruits and Vegetables!

Just Remember… in any lifestyle change…everyone slips…SO

Forgive Yourself in Moments You

Slip.. and Try Again!

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