Lower Blood Pressure with the DASH Diet

December 22, 2022
Dr. Shreya Khatri

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can have a major effect on your heart health if left untreated. It puts extra strain on the arteries and veins of your body that supply blood to the vital organs. To reduce the high pressures in these vessels, it is important to make healthy choices when it comes to eating. The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, has been proven as an effective tool for managing and even preventing hypertension. In this blog post, we will explore how following this dietary plan can help you lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

DASH Diet: What is it?

DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts and limits use of foods high is sodium, saturated fat and added sugars. It limits the food that are high in saturated fat such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils. It also limits sugar sweetened beverages and sweets.  Controlling your sodium intake to 2mg per day is also a main component of DASH diet.

How to get started with DASH diet

Like with any lifestyle modifications, best wayto make any change is to start slow. Incorporate the change that is easiest tomake. For DASH diet, start with focusing on whole foods, including fruits andvegetables. Then try to limit food that are high in saturated fats which arefull-fat dairy and tropical oils. If sodas and juices are a part of your dailyintake, try by reducing the number of drinks in a week. Maintaining a foodjournal that also been shown to make a positive impact on implementing anychanges.

Potential Benefits

A study conducted by Harvard Medical Schoolexamined data from 437 adult participants, none of them were taking anymedications to lower blood pressure. These participants were divided into a control group and a DASH dietgroup. The participants were given a strict DASH diet to follow, and their meanASCVD risk scores were compared after following DASH diet for 8 weeks. The mean10-year ASCVD risk scores which show risk of any cardiovascular event happeningin next years were much more effective, resulting in a relative difference inthe 10-year ASCVD risk of -10.3%.

How to know if the DASH diet is right for you

Before starting any diet, it is important to consult your primary care doctor. Please schedule an appointment and discuss any limiting factors and potential risks of starting a diet plan.

Get Started at Brentwood Primary Care

Brentwood Primary Care's board-certified primary care physician, Dr Shreya Khatri is pleased to provide her patients with a high-quality care. A personalized diet plan which is tailored to your medical needs, ensuring your health is well cared for. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact brentwoodprimarycare.com or call 925-471-4223 today.

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