One of the best ways to lower your high blood pressure is to start following the DASH diet.
DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”
The DASH diet is a lifelong approach which has been designed to treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). It has been developed to lower blood pressure without medication. The DASH diet encourages you to limit the sodium in your diet and eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, as well as whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts. A limited portion of red meats, sweets, and sugary beverages means to eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. You can reduce blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks by following the DASH diet. Over time, you could drop blood pressure by 8 to 14 points, which can make a noticeable difference in your health.
Other Potential Health Benefits:
Because the DASH diet is a healthy way of eating, it has other health benefits such as;
● Decreases cancer risk: People following the DASH diet had a lower risk of some cancers.
● Lowers metabolic syndrome risk: Some studies note that the DASH diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome by up to 81%.
● Lowers diabetes risk: DASH diet can improve insulin resistance that is why it has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
● Decreases heart disease risk: the DASH diet lowers blood pressure along with LDL cholesterol in the blood. So, it prevents heart disease and stroke.
● May aid in weight loss: Some studies suggest that people can lose weight on the DASH diet. As the DASH diet cuts out a lot of high-fat, sugary foods.
Sodium levels in the DASH diet:
In addition to the consumption of healthy foods, there should be limited use of sodium, that is divided into two categories:
● Standard DASH diet: You can consume up to 2,100milligrams (mg) of sodium a day.
● Lower sodium DASH diet: You can consume up to 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
Both versions of the DASH diet aims to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. And if you aren’t sure what sodium level is right for you, talk to your doctor.
The amount of salt you eat at home foods, canned products, snack foods and restaurant meals is not the only salt you take but also, it is already present in large quantities in natural foods like; vegetables, fruits and others.
Dash Diet Tips:
● Add a serving (100 g) of vegetables at lunch and at dinner as a salad.
● Add a serving of fruit as a snack. Dried fruits are easy to use (in a limited quantity).
● Drink low-fat or skim dairy products.
● Limit meat intake. Make some meals vegetarian.
● Add more protein to your diet in the form of beans and soy.
● Instead of snacking on chips or sweets, eat unsalted nuts, raisins, low-fat and fat-free yogurt.
● Read food labels to choose products that are lower in sodium.
- Calories: 2,015
- Total fat: 70 g
- Saturated fat:10 g
- Monounsaturated fat: 25 g
- Cholesterol: 70 mg
- Protein: 90 g
- Total carbohydrate: 267 g
- Dietary fiber: 39 g
- Sodium: 1,607 mg
- Potassium: 3,274 mg
- Calcium: 1,298 mg
- Magnesium: 394 mg
Diet Plan for Hypertension:
*Breakfast* : vegetables (cucumber, tomato, mushroom/pepper) stuffed sandwich-2/ Oats – 30g + ½ cup(100ml) milk / omelette + 2 plain toast
*Mid-morning* : fruit- 1 serving (100g) + 5-6 walnuts/ almonds
*Lunch* : Multigrain chapati- 2 + veg- 1 serving + dal- 1 serving + salad (100g) + curd (100g)
*Evening* : Coconut water/ green tea/ coffee (1 cup) + roasted chana (30g)
*Dinner* : Multigrain chapati-2 + Dal (1 serving)/chicken/fish + veg- 1 serving + salad (100g)
*Post dinner*: milk – 100 ml without sugar