There are millions of
adults with high blood pressure. If you're one
of them, you can lower your blood pressure by
following the step-by-step dietary and physical
activity advice offered in an updated guide
from the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood
The updated version of the DASH (Dietary Approaches
to Stop Hypertension) eating plan recommends
limiting salt (sodium), saturated fat, trans
fat, and cholesterol. It also urges people to
increase their consumption of fruits, vegetables,
fat-free or low-fat milk products, whole grain
products, fish, poultry, and nuts.
It offers new information on potassium, weight
loss, and physical activity, and includes a
week's worth of menus, easy-to-prepare recipes
and a diary to record what you eat and your
exercise. There are also tips about heart-healthy
food choices and ways to be more physically
"NHLBI studies have shown that the DASH
eating plan can significantly lower high blood
pressure, even within the first few weeks,"
Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, NHLBI director, said
in a prepared statement. "They demonstrate
that be making healthy choices in diet and physical
activity, you can get on track to a healthier
life," she said.
Here are some examples of the advice and suggestions
contained in the guide:
- If you eat only one or two servings of vegetables
a day, try adding one serving at lunch and
another at dinner.
- Gradually switch to fat-free or low-fat
milk and reduce your intake of soda or other
- Choose whole grain foods, such as whole
wheat bread or whole grain cereals. This will
provide with added nutrients and fiber.
- Select food items with the lowest levels
of salt or sodium.
- Start exercising by taking a 15-minute walk
each day and slowly build from there.