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Lowering Your Blood Pressure using DASH

Researches in North Carolina have found a DASH diet is the key to lowering blood pressure.

The DASH diet is an eating plan that specifically targets improved heart health. Eating food like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts are all part of the plan. Limiting intake of foods with high saturated fats is advisable.

The study led by researchers in North Carolina targeted 129 men and women who were overweight or obese and set them a 16-week lifestyle program. Participants were aged between 40-80 and all suffering from high blood pressure; none were taking blood pressure medication. Each participant was randomly assigned one of three types of intervention. The first was the implementation of a DASH diet, attending counseling, and exercising three times a week with supervision. The second group solely changed their diet to the DASH diet, and the final group changed nothing.

The sample group that transitioned to the DASH diet, regular exercise, and counselling lost an average of 19 pounds over 16 weeks and lowered their blood pressure by an average of 16 mm of mercury and 10mm Hg diastolic. Both systolic and diastolic readings were lowered contributing to an overall improvement on the overall blood pressure readings

Prior to engaging with the study 50% of participants met the criteria to receieve hypertensive medication. Contrasted by a drop to 23% of those who changed their diet, and 15% who combined the DASH diet with exercise.

High blood pressure is often regarded as the ‘’silent killer’’. This is because many of those who suffer from it are unaware due to the lack of symptoms showing. If left untreated and unchecked, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.

‘Lifestyle modifications, including healthier eating and regular exercise, can greatly decrease the number of patients who need blood pressure-lowering medicine,’ according to Dr. Alan Hinderliter, author of the study.


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