One step to lower high blood pressure: Incorporate the DASH diet into your lifestyle.
The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is an example of such an eating plan. In research studies, patients who were on the DASH diet lowered their blood pressure within two weeks. Another diet -- DASH-Sodium -- calls for cutting back sodium (salt) to 1,500 mg a day (about 2/3 teaspoon). Studies of people on the DASH-Sodium plan significantly lowered their blood pressure as well.
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Starting the DASH Diet
The DASH diet calls for a certain number of servings daily from various food groups. The number of servings you require may vary, depending on your caloric need. When beginning the diet, start slowly and make gradual changes. Consider adopting a diet plan that allows 2,400 mg of salt per day (about 1 teaspoon). Then, once your body has adjusted to the diet, further lower your salt intake to 1,500 mg per day (about 2/3 teaspoon). These amounts include all salt eaten, including salt in food products as well as in what you cook with or add at the table.
Here are some tips to get you started on the DASH diet:
Staying on the DASH Diet
These are the suggested serving amounts for food groups in the DASH diet:
Grains: 7-8 daily servings
Vegetables: 4-5 daily servings
Fruits: 4-5 daily servings
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings
Meat, poultry, and fish: 2 or less daily servings
Nuts, seeds, and dry beans: 4-5 servings per week
Fats and oils: 2-3 daily servings
Sweets: try to limit to less than 5 servings per week
How Much Is a Serving?
When you're trying to follow a healthy eating plan, it may help to know how much of a certain kind of food is considered a "serving." Here are some examples:
Information originally from Web MD and can be found at: http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/dash-diet