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The role of diet in the prevention and treatment of hypertension


An impressive body of evidence strongly supports the concept that multiple dietary factors influence blood pressure and that modification of diet can have powerful, beneficial effects on this highly prevalent, yet modifiable, cardiovascular risk factor. Dietary therapies with a proven ability to lower blood pressure include reduced sodium intake, weight loss, moderation of alcohol intake, increased potassium intake, and a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products that is low in fat and cholesterol. Several other dietary factors, such as an increased intake of protein or monounsaturated fatty acids, may also reduce blood pressure, but evidence to date is insufficient for policy recommendations. Still, widespread implementation of those therapies with a proven ability to lower blood pressure should have an enormous impact on the adverse patterns of blood pressure that remain highly prevalent in the United States and most other countries.

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Appel, L.J. The role of diet in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Curr Atheroscler Rep 2, 521–528 (2000).

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  • Hypertension Prevention
  • Sodium Reduction
  • Nutrition Service
  • Reduce Sodium Intake
  • Increase Potassium Intake