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High Blood Pressure and the DASH Diet

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Decreasing the amount of sodium you eat is important in lowering your high blood pressure. One dietary change that has been shown to help lower blood pressure is the DASH diet.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This plan helps you reduce your blood pressure. You'll eat foods that are low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and have more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.

The DASH eating plan includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts; and, has low amounts of fats, red meats, sweets, and sugared beverages. It is also high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as protein and fiber.

Under the DASH plan, you would eat seven to eight servings of grains; four to five servings of vegetables; four to five fruit servings; two to three servings of low fat dairy products; two or fewer servings of meat, poultry or fish; and no more than two to three servings of fats and oils.

In addition, you would add four to five small servings of nuts, seeds or dry beans each week and limit yourself to no more than five servings of sweets weekly.

Ask your healthcare provider if the DASH diet is right for you.

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