Many experts agree that prevention is important in the treatment of heart disease. Untreated high blood pressure is realted to many health compications, including the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and blindness. High blood pressure is a major health concern since even Americans with blood pressure that is normal at the age of 55 face a 90% possibility of developing high blood pressure during their lifetime.
Even though most Americans will develop high blood pressure as they age, high blood pressure is not associated with healthy aging. High blood pressure, of hypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure greater than 140 and/or diastolic blood pressure greater than 90. Many people can prevent the onset of high blood pressure with heart healthy habits. High blood pressure can ofter be controlled with lifestyle changes, such as diet, weight loss and exercise.
The DASH Diet Action Plan is often recommended by medical professionals for patients who have elevated blood pressure. Organizations that recommend the DASH Diet include:
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
The American Heart Association
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
US Guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure
USDA My Pyramid
According to DASH Diet (dashdiet.org) the DASH Diet has proven effective in lowering blood pressure in 14 days. The DASH Diet Action Plan offers lifestyle solutions with easy to follow guidelines. The book includes 28 days of meal plans, recipes, and guidance. They give guidance on how to eat at restaurants and fast food venues. The blood helps you to design a personal “DASH Diet Action Plan”.
DASH Diet claims that their research has shown that limiting starchy foods way help lower blood pressure.
Following are some specific guidelines from the DASH Diet. The book gives guidelines for different caloric levels. These recommendations are for a person who consumes 2,000 calories per day.
7-8 Servings per day: Grains and Grain Products
4-5 Servings per day: Fruits
4-5 Servings per day: Vegetables
2-3 Servings per day: Low fat or non fat diary foods
2 or less: Lean meats, fish or poultry
4-5 Servings per week: Nuts, seeds and legumes
Limited: Fats and sweets
These dietary guidelines may seem familiar, as part of may recommended healthy eating plans. Although these guidelines may seem familiar, many people have difficulty following them. In honesty, it is so much easier to drive through the fast food restaurant and buy a cheeseburger than it is to go home and make a salad. There are fast food restaurants now that offer healthier options, so if you are going to eat fast food it is best to opt for the salad.
According to DASH Diet (dashdiet.org), most Americans eat only 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables daily combined. The dietary recommendations call for 4-5 servings each of fruits and vegetables. From this information, we can see that many people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, event though they know they should.
Using guidelines from a book, such as the DASH Diet, can help to keep you focused on healthy eating, give you healthy eating tips and provide motivation.
Even though the DASH Diet is not a weight loss plan, people can lose weight using the principles in the plan. The book utilizes newer research to suggest balances, low-caloric meals with appropriate serving sizes.
The book offers a step by step plan to set your goals for blood pressure and cholesterol..It helps you determine the amount of calories you should be eating. It helps you to develop a meal plan based upon your own health goals
The DASH Diet was written by Marla Heller, MS, RD. Maria Heller is a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.