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Hypertension Diet

The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was tested and established by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute NHLBI. It recommends limiting salt and sodium intake to control blood pressure; in addition, it also recognizes the roles of another 3 minerals in controlling blood pressure - calcium, magnesium and potassium. Similar to the Dietary Guidelines for American 2005, the DASH diet puts more emphasis on whole grains, fruits and vegetables as well as low-fat dairy and meat products. Studies showed that the DASH diet has been shown to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Furthermore, it worked very quickly - usually within 2 weeks!

The current sodium recommendation made by the Federal Government's National High Blood Pressure Education Program NHBPEP is 2400 mg (~1 tsp of salt). The DASH-sodium study showed an even better blood pressure results with an intake of 1500 mg daily.

The following DASH diet is based on 2000 kcal a day.

Summary of the High Blood Pressure Diet - DASH
Grains
Vegetables
Fruits
Lowfat or Fat-free Dairy
Meats, poultry & fish
Nuts, seeds & dry beans
Fats & oils
Sweets
7-8 servings
4-5 servings
4-5 servings
2-3 servings
2 or less servings
4-5 per week
2-3
5 per week

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