The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Dash Diet: The Answer In Lowering Blood Pressure
What is the DASH style diet? The DASH diet is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps you create a heart-healthy eating style for life. It is easy to follow using foods you can find at the grocery store. The DASH diet is rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. It includes fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans and nuts. Why is healthy blood pressure important? High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood into the body. The arteries that supply blood become scarred and less flexible. Although these changes occur in everyone as we age, they happen faster in people with high blood pressure. When arteries stiffen, the heart has to work even harder, causing the heart muscle to become thicker, weaker and less able to pump blood. When high blood pressure damages the arteries, they are unable to deliver enough blood to the organs to function properly. As a result, organs can also be damaged. For example, this type of damage can affect the heart, causing a heart attack, the brain, causing a stroke, and the kidneys, leading to kidney failure. Getting started with the DASH diet The DASH diet calls for a certain number of servings per day from different food groups. The number of servings you need may vary depending on how many calories you need per day. You can make gradual changes. For example, start by limiting yourself to 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day (about 1 teaspoon). Then, as your body adjusts to the diet, limit yourself to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day (about 2/3 teaspoon). These amounts include all the sodium you consume, including the sodium in foods as well as in what you cook or add to dishes. Dash diet tips
- Add a serving of vegetables to lunch and dinner.
- Add a serving of fruit to meals or as a snack. Canned and dried fruits are easy to use, but check for added sugar.
- Use only half a typical serving of butter, margarine or salad dressing and use low-fat or fat-free condiments.
- Drink low-fat or fat-free dairy products whenever you would normally use full-fat or cream.
- Limit meat to 6 ounces a day. Make some meals vegetarian.
- Add more vegetables and dry beans to your diet.
- Instead of snacking on chips or candy, eat unsalted pretzels or nuts, raisins, low-fat and fat-free yogurt, frozen yogurt, unsalted plain popcorn without butter and raw vegetables.
- Read food labels to choose foods that have lower sodium content.
- Salted nuts.
- Carbonated beverages.
- Sweetened beverages.