DASH Diet For High Blood Pressure

You’ll find people of all ages that come to Revolution Training in Stamford, CT. Each of them have a very personal goal. Some just want to get healthier or lower their high blood pressure. Those individuals often combine the exercise program with a DASH diet. What is a DASH diet? DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s not really a diet but a lifestyle change. The training at Revolution Training, combined with the DASH way of eating can bring blood pressure back to normal without medication. The National Institutes of Health sponsored the research.

The DASH diet lowers your sodium intake.

Not only will you lower your sodium intake, foods higher in magnesium, potassium and calcium are often increased when people eat the DASH diet. After comparing it with other types of diets, it was found that it lowered the systolic blood pressure—the top number—as much as 14 points. That can be significant for some people. It’s a healthier way of eating that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat milk, poultry, fish, nuts and beans. The DASH diet also suggests lowering foods high in sodium, drinks with added sugar—such as soft drinks—and red meat. It limits saturated and trans fats, too.

The DASH diet wasn’t created to lose weight, but you might lose weight on it.

If you start a program of regular exercise and stick with the DASH diet, you potentially will lose weight. It’s really not very restrictive and allows 6 to 8 servings of cereals and grains each day focusing on whole grain. You can consume 4 to 5 servings of vegetables. Eating too many vegetables is never a problem, so if you eat more than 5 servings, don’t worry. You also get to consume 4 to 5 servings of fruit every day, 2 to 3 servings of dairy and up to 6 one-ounce servings of poultry, fish and lean meat. One egg is one serving. You can have up to 4 or 5 servings of nuts, seeds and legumes each week, 5 servings of sweets each week and 2 to 3 servings of fats and oils a day.

Does the DASH diet work?

There’s little evidence that lowering your salt intake actually lowers blood pressure, unless your salt intake was excessively high or were found to be salt sensitive. What the diet does do is make you more aware of what you’re eating, cut out many processed foods and increase many people’s intake of fruits and vegetables. Cutting out products with added sugar, refined grains, processed meats and soft drinks can go a long way in lowering blood pressure, while providing other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of diabetes and gout.

There’s more research showing that a diet that was lower in added sugar could lower blood pressure. A study of 43 obese children with high blood pressure had a diet far lower in sugar. Their blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels dropped significantly in just nine days.

Whether you choose the DASH diet or any other whole foods diet, changing your lifestyle and becoming more active can improve your results dramatically. It makes your heart stronger and more efficient.

Exercise is also important for lowering blood pressure, because it helps you lose weight. It also helps burn off the hormones of stress that can increase your blood pressure and increases nitric oxide in your blood, which reduces the resistance in blood vessels.

Not only will you get the exercise you need to stay healthier at Revolution Training, you’ll find a family of support and have fun as you get fitter. You’ll develop more confidence and learn self-defense skills.


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