DASH diet can save your life

Aug. 2, 2012 at 9:41 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- People who want to lower their blood pressure should try the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, U.S. health officials say.

Dr. Lawrence Fine of the National Institutes of Health said lowering high-blood pressure levels can literally save one's life by reducing the risk of such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

"The DASH diet advocates that you should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, a lot of non-fat or low-fat dairy products, and also lean meat, chicken breast, things like that," Fine said in a statement.

The DASH eating plan is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, total fat, sweets, sugar, sugary drinks and red meat. It includes fruit, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts -- and it is lower in sodium than the typical American diet.

DASH research showed an eating plan containing 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day lowered blood pressure.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 advises people in the following groups to aim for no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day:

-- People who already have high blood pressure.

-- People who have diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

-- African-Americans.

-- Middle-aged and older adults.

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