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The Right Diet to Lower Your Blood Pressure

DASH – A Diet That Will Lower Your Blood Pressure

Photo: Stethoscope, pen, papers, and files

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or even with what doctors call “pre-hypertension”—an elevated level that’s not cause for serious concern, but may be an early warning of a risk of blood-pressure-related health problems, you probably already know that you can do a lot to lower your blood pressure with changes in diet and exercise regimens. But what should you eat? How can you feel confident that the food choices you make will lead to a decrease in blood pressure and improved heart health? The DASH diet program offers the answers you need.

DASH—dietary approaches to stop hypertension—provides a clear framework for lowering your blood pressure through your food choices. According to officials at the Mayo Clinic, you can reduce your blood pressure noticeably within two weeks. If you stay with the program, you can lower your systolic rate (the first number in your blood pressure reading) by up to 10 points. The systolic rate measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats.

How DASH Works

Medical science knows that there is a direct correlation between the amount of sodium you take in and your blood pressure. The higher your sodium intake, the higher your blood pressure. DASH offers both a standard (2,300 milligrams per day) and a lower sodium (1,500 milligrams per day) version of the diet, both of which dramatically reduce the amount of sodium you take in. According to the American Heart Association, anyone over the age of 50 should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily.

The DASH diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, recommending a large number of small servings every day. For example, DASH calls for six to eight grain servings per day, which can include a half cup of cooked rice or pasta, a slice of whole-wheat bread or an ounce of dry cereal. The plan also calls for 4-5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Participants also get up to six servings of fish, poultry or lean meat daily, as well as up to three servings of dairy daily.

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The place for urgent care in Dallas is Hillcrest Medical. Many of our patients also choose to make our doctor their primary care physician. Come and check out our facility and meet our doctor and staff. We’re here to help you now, and we’re here for all your future urgent care needs.

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