Did you know…the DASH diet can help lower your blood pressure in 14 days?

DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) is an eating plan that healthcare providers suggest for people who have high blood pressure (hypertension) or show signs of prehypertension.  This high-fiber diet is also helpful for adults who are overweight or obese or have high cholesterol, which makes them more likely to get heart disease, stroke and kidney stones.

The word “diet” sounds scary, but the DASH diet is an easy-to-follow, healthy, family-friendly eating plan that anyone can use, including children.

DASH focuses on three things:

1.)   Lowering blood pressure

2. )     Reducing blood cholesterol

3.)   Controlling insulin levels (this is important for people who have or are at risk for diabetes)

To help lower blood pressure, DASH says to eat large amounts (7-8 servings per day) of the following foods:

  • Whole grains such as whole wheat breads and whole grain cereals, such as oatmeal or buckwheat.   These foods help you get more fiber and have more energy to help you stay active throughout the day. 

It also advises eating moderate amounts (4-5 servings per day) of the following:

  • Lean meats, poultry and fish such as turkey, tuna, and salmon because they have protein and fiber;
  • Low- or non-fat dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk as sources of calcium and protein. 

For more information on serving sizes, visit this DASH diet link

Lastly, it says you should eat less:

  • Sweets;
  • Fats and oils, such as salad dressing and vegetable oil (it also suggest using alternatives such as light salad dressings and olive oil instead of vegetable oil, butter or lard).

The DASH diet also helps decrease the amount of salt you eat by having you use fewer processed foods.  For instance, it has you use fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned foods; and spices for flavoring instead of salt.

The DASH diet plan also suggests you exercise (for example, walk or run a few times week), smoke less, and drink less alcohol to improve your quality of health (it is not part of the diet but it helps to maintain and improve your health).

The DASH diet plan, which includes eating and lifestyle changes, suggests you do the following things to help you switch to a healthier lifestyle:

1.       Make a schedule of when you’re going to exercise and the meals you are going to eat   on a daily basis and keep it!

2.       Get a friend to try the diet with you

3.       Try different activities so you don’t get bored with your exercise routine

4.       Set goals

5.       Reward yourself every 3-4 weeks you completing the exercises and sticking to the meals on your plan

To learn more about the DASH diet and suggestions for recipes check out the DASH diet website.

Did you know? is a series of health articles written by HHPC and approved by our Health Advisory Board.

1 Comment

When you generally hear the word “diet” you wonder if you should take some sort of pill or generally skip a meal or two, but not all diets revolve around this idea. The DASH diet according this article is a quite the opposite and there are many health benefits to using a diet plan such as the one mentioned here. For my diet I try to include fat fighting food such as berries, watermelon, grapefruit, green tea, lean meat, tabouli etc. Coming from a very ethnic background I also eat food that have a lot of herbs and spices (hot peppers, curry powder, chili powder). Even though these have its benefits, one should also be careful not eat spicy food consistently as it may lead to other problems such as heartburn or ulcers etc.

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