DASH Diet, High Blood Pressure Diet

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What is DASH? DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Hypertension is high blood pressure. So DASH is an eating plan that can help lower blood pressure.

The DASH diet focuses on foods that are high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients and minerals can lower blood pressure.

The foods that are highest in these nutrients are fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, seeds, nuts, and beans.

Some people like to taking calcium, potassium, and magnesium supplements instead of eating these foods. The effect is different. Why?

Research shows that it is the combination of 8 to 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables and 3 servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy products that causes the DASH eating plan to lower blood pressure. Simply taking calcium, potassium, and magnesium supplements does not lower blood pressure.

Lowering salt while following the DASH plan can lower blood pressure even further than just the DASH plan alone.

The DASH Diet Table

Food Recommended servings Examples

Low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products

2 to 3 servings a day

A serving is 8 ounces of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces of cheese.

Fruits

4 to 5 servings a day

A serving is 1 medium-sized piece of fruit, 1/2 cup chopped or canned fruit, 1/4 cup dried fruit, or 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of fruit juice. Choose fruit more often than fruit juice.

Vegetables

4 to 5 servings a day

A serving is 1 cup of lettuce or raw leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup of chopped or cooked vegetables, or 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of vegetable juice. Choose vegetables more often than vegetable juice.

Grains

7 to 8 servings a day

A serving is 1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of dry cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal. Try to choose whole-grain products as much as possible.

Meat, poultry, fish

No more than 2 servings a day

A serving is 3 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards

Legumes, nuts, seeds

4 to 5 servings a week

A serving is 1/3 cup of nuts, 2 tablespoons of seeds, or 1/2 cup cooked dried beans or peas.

Fats and oils

2 to 3 servings a day

A serving is 1 teaspoon of soft margarine or vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, or 2 tablespoons of salad dressing.

Sweets and added sugars

5 servings a week or less

A serving is 1 tablespoon of sugar or jam, 1/2 ounce of jelly beans (about 20), or 1 cup of lemonade.

 

Blood Pressure Related Readings:

 

Suggested Readings:

 

Here is more information about DASH plan: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash

 

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