High Blood Pressure Diet

The DASH diet for high blood pressure (which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) includes whole grains, poultry, and fish, and has reduced amounts of fats, red meats, and sugared beverages. Research has shown that following this diet can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already-elevated blood pressure.

Diet for High Blood Pressure: An Introduction

Hypertension research studies have shown that following a high blood pressure diet (known as DASH) can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) and lower an already-elevated blood pressure. In fact, two recent research studies have shown that by following an eating plan such as DASH, a person's blood pressure can be reduced by an amount similar to that seen with blood pressure medicine.
 

The DASH High Blood Pressure Diet

"DASH" stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension." This healthy diet for high blood pressure has been studied in several clinical trials, looking at the effects of certain foods on blood pressure. Study results indicated that elevated blood pressures were reduced by an eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods and is low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol. The DASH diet includes:
 
  • Whole grains
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Nuts.
 
It also has reduced amounts of:
 
  • Fats
  • Red meats
  • Sweets
  • Sugared beverages.
 
A second clinical study, called "DASH-Sodium," looked at the effect of a reduced dietary sodium intake on blood pressure as people followed either the DASH high blood pressure diet or a typical American diet. Results showed that reducing dietary sodium lowered blood pressure for both groups. However, the biggest blood pressure-lowering benefits were for those following the DASH eating plan at the lowest sodium level (1,500 milligrams per day).
 
The DASH-Sodium study shows the importance of lowering sodium intake, regardless of your diet. But for a best diet for high blood pressure, follow the DASH eating plan and lower your intake of salt.
 
(Click DASH Diet for more information on this high blood pressure diet or click Salt and High Blood Pressure for information on how to lower your salt intake.)
 
The Dirty, Messy Part of BPH

Diet for Reducing High Blood Pressure

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