VITAMINS & MINERALS
Is There a Diet Specifically Targeted at Hypertension?
A: The DASH—Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension—diet was developed for a US government–sponsored, controlled study that investigated the effect of a healthy diet on blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is anything over 120/80 mmHg.
The DASH diet lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, and improves insulin sensitivity. For these reasons, many doctors recommend it to people at risk for heart disease or diabetes. Because it is a well-balanced diet low in animal fats and high in nutrient-rich foods and fiber, it has also been recommended as an eating guide for all people. Since most people will eat fewer calories when following the DASH diet, it could also be used as a weight-loss and weight-maintenance diet.
Key tips: Limit animal fats, and eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and non- or low-fat dairy products. Talk to a registered dietitian or other trained healthcare professional for more information about following this diet.
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