Following this Diet Will Lower Your Blood Pressure and Prevent Hypertension
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as an approach to healthy eating that is designed to treat high blood pressure and prevent hypertension. The diet reduces sodium and encourages a variety of foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium (nutrients that all help to lower blood pressure): Fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, some fish, lean poultry, legumes/nuts/seeds.
According to the Mayo Clinic, adhering to the DASH diet can lower blood pressure by a few points in just 2 weeks, but will lower by 8-14 over time as long as you stick with it. DASH is also a healthy diet in general, and can help prevent other issues like diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
What to Eat:
- Grains: 6-8 servings/day. Whole wheat bread, cereal, rice, pasta. Whole grains have more fiber than refined ones and low in fat.
- Veggies: 4-5 servings/day. Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, etc. Full of fiber and essential vitamins. Fresh and frozen are both fine. Canned veggies also work well as long as they are low in sodium.
- Fruits: 4-5 servings/day. Apples, oranges, strawberries, bananas, melons, 100% juice with pulp. Ideal for snacks and desserts. Leave on edible peels when possible, as they contain many healthy nutrients.
- Dairy: 2-3 servings/day. Low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. Great sources of calcium, vitamin D, and protein, but beware of consuming excess fat and sodium.
- Fats and oils: 2-3 servings/day. Too much fat can cause various health issues, but having a balanced diet containing some fat helps your body to absorb vitamins and nutrients, protects your organs, and helps your immune system. Avoid saturated and trans fats when possible.
- Lean meat, poultry, and fish: Under 6 servings/day. Turkey, chicken, salmon, herring, tuna. Great source of iron, protein, zinc, vitamin B, and (in the case of fish) omega-3 fatty acids. Trim away skin and bake or grill instead of frying in fat.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: 4-5 servings/week. Almonds, kidney beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, cashews, etc. Good source of protein, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and phytochemicals, but can also be calorie-dense and high in fat, so eat these only a few times per week.
- Sweets: Under 5 servings/week. A healthy diet doesn’t need to be all boring, does it? Some sweets here and there are fine, but be sure to limit consumption and avoid added or processed sugar, which only adds calories and provides zero nutritional content.
Tips for Success
If this diet is a drastic change for you, then your body might not know how to react and you may not feel so good at first. For best results, phase in the new foods gradually by starting with fewer servings and increasing them slowly, week by week, until the diet is in full swing. Also, consider combining the diet with exercise. This will maximize healthy nutritional gains and give you a better chance to prevent hypertension.
How TruSense Can Help Prevent Hypertension
TruSense can help by providing the tools you need to be proactive with helping yourself or a loved one to more effectively manage high blood pressure and prevent hypertension. By syncing our wireless blood pressure meter to the user-friendly TruSense mobile app, TruSense provides a platform to ensure that your blood pressure remains within your normal healthy ranges. If your readings fall outside of these ranges, or if they begin to approach unhealthy levels, TruSense will send a notification to you and those with whom you’ve designated to share the information. This can include family caregivers, a healthcare professional, health coach, or in-home healthcare worker. TruSense also logs and charts your readings automatically on the user-friendly TruSense Dashboard, giving you at-a-glance insight into your blood pressure trends over time that you can share with your doctor to ensure you are getting the best care for your chronic condition.