High blood pressure affects so many people that you probably know family or friends who deal with it or you may be dealing with it yourself. I know family members who have to take medication daily to treat their hypertension. The DASH diet is a popular diet that has been said to help lower blood pressure by 8 to 14 points.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet is made up of a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients and help lower blood pressure. These nutrients can include potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The diet itself isn't geared toward weight loss but because of the healthy types of food in the diet, weight loss can be a positive side effect if you do have excess pounds to lose.
Basics of the DASH Diet
There are two versions of the diet: the standard and the lower sodium version. The standard version allows up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. The lower version allows up to 1,500 milligrams a day.
The types of food allowed in the eating plan include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, red meat, and legumes. You can still enjoy your sweet treats as well but in moderation. It is still better to avoid any added sugar but when deciding on a treat, choose those that are fat-free or low in fat.
Alcohol can also be consumed but be aware that drinking too much of it can increase blood pressure. One alcoholic beverage per day seems to be fine on the eating plan.
Healthy Food Choices for the DASH Diet Video
Overall, it seems like the DASH diet is a common sense healthy way of eating. It is a good diet regardless of whether you have high blood pressure or not. Avoiding processed food and being aware of what you eat when dining out should make following this plan a lot easier. It's also important to speak with your doctor when it comes to hypertension, particularly for diet and medication.
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The DASH Diet Action Plan: Based on the National Institutes of Health Research: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension