Are you following the DASH diet plan to control high blood pressure? Keep these 5 tips in mind  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
Making simple lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure
Managing blood pressure is a lifelong commitment that involves eating a healthy diet and being physically active
Research suggests that the DASH diet may be an easy and effective way to lower blood pressure and keep it down
New Delhi: If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure, lifestyle changes are a critical step in treating and managing this health condition. Eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure. Perhaps, your doctor may recommend you to follow the DASH diet as a strategy to help lower your high blood pressure.
What is the DASH diet?
Basically, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Research suggests that the DASH diet can offer a number of potential health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, aiding weight loss, and reducing heart disease risk. Studies also suggest that the eating plan may lower a person’s risk of developing diabetes and some cancers. The diet, which was designed to help with high blood pressure control, focuses on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while restricting red meat, salt, added fat and sugars.
Starting the DASH diet? Here’s what you should know
The fact is, changing your eating habits isn’t that easy for most people, especially when the diet plan calls for a certain number of servings daily from a variety of food groups. However, knowing a few tips and tricks can help you adopt a healthy diet:
Emphasise healthful foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Include fish, poultry, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, beans, nuts and vegetable oils in your diet.
Ensure that you add a serving of veggies at lunch and at dinner – similarly, a serving of fruit to your meals or as a snack. For your snacks, you can eat unsalted nuts or pretzels, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, raw veggies, etc.
Limit foods that are high in saturated fat – fatty meals, full-fat dairy products and tropical oils like coconut, palm kernel or palm oil. Also, limit sugar-sweetened beverages and foods.
Consider boosting your intake of potassium, which can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Food sources of potassium include bananas, oranges, spinach, potatoes, etc.
Additionally, maintain a food diary to write down what you eat, which will help you keep track of what and how much you eat. The DASH diet along with other lifestyle modifications – such as not smoking, exercising, staying at a healthy weight – can help you control high blood pressure and reduce your risk of complications.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.