, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 484-491

The DASH diet and blood pressure

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Abstract

High blood pressure (also called hypertension) is one of the most important and common risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other chronic diseases. National guidelines recommend that all individuals with blood pressure readings of 120/80 mm Hg or higher adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, to manage their blood pressure. The DASH diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and reduced in fat, has been shown in large, randomized, controlled trials to reduce blood pressure significantly. The DASH diet also has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol and homocysteine levels and to enhance the benefits of antihypertensive drug therapy. The DASH diet should be promoted, along with maintaining healthy weight, reducing sodium intake, increasing regular physical activity, and limiting alcohol intake, for lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of CVD.