Eating a healthy diet is an important approach to lower blood pressure (BP). The DASH diet is a flexible nutritional program that incorporates a balance of Fruit, Vegetables, Poultry and Fish, some meats that are lower in saturated fats, 100% whole grains, and low fat or nonfat dairy products. The DASH nutritional program or DASH diet does not require special foods, instead it provides daily and weekly nutritional goals.
Based on the recommendations of a 2000 per day calorie diet the person should consume:
- 6- 8 servings of grains
- 6 or less servings of meat
- 4– 5 servings of fruit
- 4- 5 servings of vegetables
- 2- 3 servings of low fat or nonfat dairy
- 2- 3 servings of healthy fats
- 4- 5 servings of Nuts and seeds
- 5 or less servings sweets
- The major goal is to consume 2300mg or less of sodium.
- 1500mg per day lowers the BP even more.
In addition to the low sodium version of DASH, another modification includes swapping 10% of daily carbohydrates for proteins or unsaturated fats.
DASH eating allows all foods, there are no foods that are off limits. Meals should revolve around foods naturally rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, protein, and low sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
Studies done by the national heart lung and blood institute shows that adhering to the DASH diet and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day significantly lowers the blood pressure. The effects of the DASH diet have the potential to eliminate some BP medications from the medication regimen.
The DASH diet has tied for first place with 39 other diets for “Best Diets for healthy eating” and “Best Heart – Healthy Diets” in 2021 Best Diets Report from U.S. News and World Report.
The following should be considered when following the DASH diet:
- Low Saturated and Trans Fats
- Foods rich in Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium
- Fiber Rich Foods and Protein
- Low Sodium 1500mg to 2300mg per day
The DASH diet was developed more than 20 years ago with the support of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and this nutritional program can be easily incorporated in your lifestyle by just changing the way you shop for groceries.
TruCare Telehealth & House Calls can help you determine your nutritional requirements for the DASH diet based on your individual height and weight, and ensure you are getting the therapeutic balance of important minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Ask us how we can help.
Volume 70, Issue 23, 12 December 2017, Pages 2841-2848