Hypertension is a major cause of concern throughout the world, as over a billion people are affected with this medical condition. People with hypertension are susceptible to strokes, heart attack, and heart failure. Simply called high blood pressure, it has a variety of causes, the most common being sedentary lifestyle. With no physical activity and high physical and emotional stress, the blood pressure gets elevated. Diet is another factor that enhances hypertension. With people now relying heavily on ‘fast foods’ to fuel their hectic lifestyle, the diet that effectively runs the body, is sidelined. Coupled with no exercises, it is a recipe for medical disaster. To address this concern, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) has formulated a diet, which helps control high blood pressure. Known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH, this diet was developed after a series of diet plan studies. However, it must be accompanied by a healthy dose of exercise, to be effective. To help you follow a DASH diet plan, we have listed the major pointers in the lines below.
DASH Diet Plan
For a 2,100 calorie eating plan, the breakup will be as follows:
- Total fat - 27% of calories
- Saturated fat - 6% of calories
- Protein - 18% of calories
- Carbohydrate - 55% of calories
- Cholesterol - 150 mg
- Sodium - 2,300 mg
- Potassium - 4,700 mg
- Calcium - 1,250 mg
- Magnesium - 500 mg
- Fiber - 30 g
DASH Eating Plan
As per the DASH diet, the following food sources must be consumed by an individual suffering from hypertension.
Sources Of Energy & Fiber
Whole wheat bread and rolls, whole wheat pasta, English muffin, pita bread, bagel, cereals, grits, oatmeal, brown rice, unsalted pretzels and popcorn.
Sources Of Potassium, Magnesium, & Fiber
Broccoli, carrots, collards, green beans, green peas, kale, lima beans, potatoes, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
Sources Of Potassium, Magnesium & Fiber
Apples, apricots, bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, grapefruit juice, mangoes, melons, peaches, pineapples, raisins, strawberries, and tangerines.
Sources Of Calcium & Protein
Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk or buttermilk, fat-free, low-fat, or reduced-fat cheese, fat-free or low-fat regular or frozen yogurt.
Sources Of Protein & Magnesium
Select only lean; trim away visible fats; broil, roast, or poach; remove skin from poultry.
Sources Of Energy, Magnesium, Protein, & Fiber
Almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, kidney beans, lentils, and split peas.
Sources Of Fat
Soft margarine, vegetable oil (such as canola, corn, olive, or safflower), low-fat mayonnaise, and light salad dressing. This includes fat in or added to foods.
Sources Of Sweets (Low In Fat)
Fruit-flavored gelatin, fruit punch, hard candy, jelly, maple syrup, sorbet and ices, sugar.
Sample DASH Diet Plan
Grains & Grain Products (7-8 Servings per Day)
- 1 slice bread
- 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal
- 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal
Vegetables (4-5 Servings per Day)
- 1 cup raw leafy vegetable
- 1/2 cup cooked vegetable
- 6 ounces vegetable juice
Fruits (4-5 Servings per Day)
- 1 medium fruit
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
- 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
- 6 ounces fruit juice
Low Fat or Fat Free Dairy Foods (2-3 Servings per Day)
- 8 ounces milk
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1½ ounces cheese
Lean Meats, Poultry & Fish (2 or Less Servings per Day)
- 3 ounces cooked lean meats
- skinless poultry
Nuts, Seeds & Dry Beans (4-5 Servings per Week)
- 1/3 cup or 1½ ounces nuts
- 1 tbsp or ½ ounce seeds
- 1/2 cup cooked dry beans
Fats & Oils (2-3 Servings Per Day)
- 1 tsp soft margarine
- 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp light salad dressing
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
Sweets (5 Servings Per Week)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp jelly or jam
- 1/2 ounce jelly beans
- 8 ounces lemonade
- The egg intake should be not more than four per week as the eggs are high in cholesterol.