the DASH Eating Plan?
Blood pressure can be unhealthy even if it stays only slightly
above the normal level of less than 120/80 mmHg. The higher
blood pressure rises above normal, the greater the health risk.
In the past, researchers tried to find clues about what in the
diet affects blood pressure by testing various single nutrients,
such as calcium and magnesium. These studies were done mostly
with dietary supplements and their findings were not conclusive.
Then, scientists supported by the National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute (NHLBI)conducted two key studies. The first
was called DASH, and it tested nutrients as they
occur together in food.
showed that blood pressures were reduced with an
eating plan that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total
fat, and that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy
foods. This eating planknown as the DASH eating planalso
includes whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts. It is
reduced in red meat, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages.
It is rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, as well as
protein and fiber.
The DASH study involved 459 adults with systolic blood pressures
of less than
160 mmHg and diastolic pressures of 8095 mmHg. About 27
percent of the
participants had hypertension. About 50 percent were women and
60 percent were
second study, DASH-Sodium checked the effects of lowering sodium
intake, the "classic" recommendation for hypertension.
diet can lower blood pressure by 8-14 mm Hg ( points )
Whereas lowering sodium intake can lower blood pressure by 2-8
ways to lower blood pressure are reviewed in the following article:
Prevention of Hypertension JAMA. 2002;288:1882-1888
with proven efficacy for prevention of hypertension:
1.engage in moderate physical activity( 4-9mmHg)
2. maintain normal body weight; ( 5-10 mmHg)
3. limit alcohol consumption ( 2-4 mmHg )
4. reduce sodium intake; ( 2 - 8 mm Hg )
5.maintain adequate intake of potassium; and
6.consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy
products and reduced in saturated and total fat
DASH ( 8 - 14 mm Hg )