This Diet Plan is as Effective as a Blood Pressure Pill Says Weight Loss Panel Expert

DASH diet for hypertension

If you are overweight AND have high blood pressure, here is a diet plan recommendation by one weight loss panel expert who helped pick the best diet plans for 2015 earlier this year.

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According to a recent news report by NBC affiliate station K5 in Western Washington, choosing a diet plan is not easy. However, one reason for choosing one diet plan over another is that some plans are better than others when it comes to not only losing weight, but lowering your blood pressure as well.

Laurence Sperling, MD, a preventive cardiologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, who served on a national board that rated the best diets of 2015 has this to say about diet plans and blood pressure.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is one that emphasizes eating a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium, calcium and magnesium, which are considered to be key nutrients in lowering blood pressure.

Interestingly, the DASH diet stemmed from clinical research that was focused on how to lower blood pressure through diet when it became apparent that hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other life-threatening health issues. What researchers discovered was that following a diet that is low in salt, but high in fruits and vegetables led not only to weight loss, but also a dramatic improvement in the study participants’ blood pressure values in just a few weeks.

DASH Diet Tips to Get You Started

And best of all, the DASH diet is a simple and relatively easy diet to follow. But if you find yourself not ready to totally commit all at once to a dieting, here are a few recommended tips on integrating more fruits and vegetables into your meals from dashdiet.org that can get you started on a DASH diet lifestyle:

1. Use grocery store salad bars for lots of cut up fresh vegetables.

2. Frozen vegetables make it easy to add 2 or more servings of veggies to your meal even if you don't have time to hit the store before dinner.

3. Double up on veggies. A serving is 1/2 cup, so a full cup makes 2 servings.

4. Berry-licious is having fresh berries on your cereal.

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5. Nonfat fruit yogurt, artificially sweetened, makes a wonderful snack or quick breakfast.

6. All nuts are heart healthy. Making yours salt-free boosts their DASH benefits.

7. Some convenience foods make your DASH diet great. Look for bagged ready-to-eat cut up veggies, like baby carrots, broccoli sprigs, lettuce, cabbage slaw, broccoli slaw, cauliflower tops, etc.

8. Make your plate colorful. Add 1 - 2 cooked vegetables and a side salad with more than just greens.

9. Make your coffee a latte with 8 ounces of skim milk.

10. Smoothies made with skim milk, fresh fruit, and no added sugars make a fast way to maximize the DASH potential of your diet.

For more about the DASH diet, here are some linked articles to help you discover why you should consider the DASH diet even if your blood pressure is normal:

The DASH Diet for Vegetarians and Vegans

DASH Diet Reduces Heart Failure in Women

References:

NBC affiliate station K5 News “Health experts rank the best weight loss plans

The Dash Diet Eating Plan―dashdiet.org

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