The DASH diet for reducing blood pressure is a controversial diet that has been around since the seventies. It recommends avoiding red meats, processed foods, margarine, salt, fried foods, butter, processed poultry products, dairy products, egg whites, yeast, alcohol, and caffeine. Many experts and physicians recommend the DASH diet for lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health. However, it is not recommended for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, as it contains at least thirty-two ingredients.
The DASH diet is a sensible way to lower your blood pressure, especially if you are already experiencing symptoms of hypertension. It is not controlled by prescription drugs, and it does not advocate excessive alcohol consumption.
Recently, there has been some controversy concerning the DASH diet for lowering blood pressure. Many researchers, medical practitioners, and physicians argue that the DASH diet is ineffective because it fails to consider the effect of changes in dietary patterns and sodium intake. For example, it only considers the effect of reducing sodium intake, but does not take into consideration other dietary patterns that are related to hypertension. A low-salt diet is effective, though, because salt causes a rise in blood pressure. Likewise, a low-saturated-fat diet is also effective because fat is a major source of triglycerides, which are associated with hypertension.
The original DASH diet recommended limiting the intake of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods. However, recent studies have shown that the DASH diet does not lower hypertension very much. In fact, there is some evidence that people become even more at risk of developing hypertension while still on these low-salt, low-sugar DASH diets. Thus, the researchers conducted a controlled test on a large group of people who were on one of the two DASH diets – the low-fat, low-sugar DASH diet and the traditional, high-fat, high-fiber control diet.
The test showed that there was no significant difference between the two diet groups when it came to the percentage of people who developed hypertension and those who did not. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the two diet groups when it came to the largest reductions in sodium and potassium intakes. Another test showed that there was no significant difference between the control diet and the DASH diet in terms of the percentage of people who developed heart disease. Thus, the researchers conclude that although the DASH diet is effective in reducing hypertension by decreasing sodium and potassium intake, the largest reductions were not substantial enough to be of benefit for the hypertensive patients.
As of now, there are only two approved diet schemes for the treatment of hypertension. These diets are the DVASHs or the Dietary Approaches for Stopping Hypertension and the National Registry of Information on Blood Pressure. The DASHs or the Dietary Approaches includes recommendations such as reducing sodium intake to less than two grams per day; limiting the potassium intake to two thousand milligrams or less; and adding fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and low-fat dairy products to the daily diet. The national registry of information on blood pressure includes information about the use of prescription drugs and other lifestyle and physiological changes that will help you reduce hypertension.
The National Health and Nutrition institute evaluated the effectiveness of a diet scheme including skim milk, whole wheat bread, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and an intake of lean meats in reducing blood pressures. The results showed that there was a significant improvement in the lipid profile of patients in the study, but there was no significant improvement in the hypertension. The results also showed that the diet was beneficial to heart patients and stroke patients. In conclusion, it can be said that the DASH diet or the Low-DASH diet is a dietary pattern that lowers blood pressure.
If you are hypertensive, your best dietary advice would be to limit the salt intake and avoid sodium intake in salty foods. You should also try to limit your sodium intake from supplements, particularly if you have been diagnosed with a hypertension condition. The benefits of the DASH diet are mostly beneficial to people who follow the guidelines. If you have kidney disease or cardiovascular disease, you should see your doctor before taking this or any medication.