Nutrition

Healthy Eating to Lower Your Blood Pressure

June 15, 2021

In this blog post we will be emphasizing on the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that's designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). 

The dash diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to Mayo Clinic by following the DASH diet, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks!

DASH diet: What to eat?

The DASH diet includes lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Also including some fish, poultry and legumes, and encourages a small amount of nuts and seeds a few times a week. 

The total recommended calorie a day count is 2000. 

Here is some of the recommended servings from each food group a day:
Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings a day

Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens and other vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, and such minerals as potassium and magnesium. Examples of one serving include 1 cup raw leafy green vegetables or 1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables. 



Fruits: 4 to 5 servings a day

Many fruits need little preparation to become a healthy part of a meal or snack. Like vegetables, they're packed with fiber, potassium and magnesium and are typically low in fat — coconuts are an exception.

Examples of one serving include one medium fruit, 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit, or 4 ounces of juice.

Grains: 6 to 8 servings a day

Grains include bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Examples of one serving of grains include 1 slice whole-wheat bread, 1 ounce dry cereal, or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.

Dairy: 2 to 3 servings a day

Milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are major sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein. But the key is to make sure that you choose dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free because otherwise they can be a major source of fat — and most of it is saturated.

Examples of one serving include 1 cup skim or 1 percent milk, 1 cup low-fat yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces part-skim cheese.

Lean meat, poultry and fish: 6 one ounce servings or fewer a day

Meat can be a rich source of protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc. Choose lean varieties and aim for no more than 6 one-ounce servings a day. Cutting back on your meat portion will allow room for more vegetables.

Examples of one serving include 1 egg or 1 ounce of cooked meat, poultry or fish.

Nuts, seeds and legumes: 4 to 5 servings a week

Almonds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, peas, lentils and other foods in this family are good sources of magnesium, potassium and protein.

They're also full of fiber and phytochemicals, which are plant compounds that may protect against some cancers and cardiovascular disease.

Examples of one serving include 1/3 cup nuts, 2 tablespoons seeds or nut butter, or 1/2 cup cooked beans or peas.

Fats and oils: 2 to 3 servings a day

Fat helps your body absorb essential vitamins and helps your body's immune system. But too much fat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Examples of one serving include 1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or 2 tablespoons salad dressing.


Sweets: 5 servings or fewer a week

You don't have to banish sweets entirely while following the DASH diet — just go easy on them. Examples of one serving include 1 tablespoon sugar, jelly or jam, 1/2 cup sorbet, or 1 cup lemonade.

Starting a new diet can be difficult at times. Try to change your diet gradually, for example if you only eat only one cup or two servings of fruit a day try adding a serving at lunch and one at dinner. If you're having trouble sticking to your diet and get the support you need, talk to your dietician about it. They may be able to give you some tips that will help you stick to the DASH diet. 

Book a call with our Wellness Coordinator to learn more