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The Dash Diet for High Blood Pressure

[15 Aug 2010 | No Comments | | Author: ]
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If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure you may have heard of the DASH diet. The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet was tested and established by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute NHLBI. The NHLBI recommends limiting your intake of salt and sodium in order to control your blood pressure. It also proclaims that there are 3 minerals used in controlling blood pressure – calcium, magnesium and potassium.

The DASH diet has more importance put on eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as low-fat dairy and meat products.

Studies have been conducted and the results show that the DASH diet does lower both the systolic and the diastolic blood pressure readings and that the diet produces results quickly, usually within 2 weeks.

The DASH diet allow for 2000 kcal a day and basically has the individuals on the diet eating 7 to 8 servings of grains, 4 to 5 servings of vegetables, 4 to 5 servings of fruits, 2 to 3 servings of low fat or fat-free daily, 2 or less servings of meats, poultry and fish, and 4 to 5 servings per week of nuts, seeds and dry beans, 2 to 3 servings of fats and oils, and 5 servings of sweets per week.

The diet works because the results are that individuals lose weight, and that with cutting down on sodium, while boosting potassium intake and limiting alcohol are proven ways to control blood pressure.

Those on the DASH diet are asked to avoid taking herbal supplements such as ephedra, ginseng, licorice, and feverfew as they may increase blood pressure. They can with a doctor’s advice take garlic or flax seed as these have been shown to lower blood pressure.

Scientists do know that potassium, and calcium, both play a critical role in regulating blood pressure. Foods such as bananas, beans, tofu and potatoes are all rich sources of potassium. However if you boil, you leave all the potassium into the water.

Most adults need about 1000mg of calcium a day, and if adults do not get this in the foods they eat then they should talk to their doctor about receiving a calcium supplement.

It is important that you ask for the advice of your doctor before starting any diet. Some diets may be harmful to certain medical conditions.

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