How Can DASH Diet Help Lower Blood Pressure and Improve Heart Health?


Pointers at Glance

  • Experts say that the DASH diet can help people with stage 1 hypertension lower their blood pressure and improve their heart health.
  • It is typically treated with lifestyle changes rather than medication.
  • The DASH diet helps heart health and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Experts say the DASH diet can help people with stage 1 hypertension lessen their blood pressure. The DASH diet is a daily eating plan that includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats.

Experts say people starting a DASH diet should make changes gradually as they adjust their daily eating habits. They suggest checking food labels to see how much salt and sugar products contain. Changing your diet could have the most crucial impact on reducing high blood pressure. Stage 1 hypertension is commonly treated with lifestyle changes rather than medication.

This weekend, the research findings will be revealed at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2022.

The researchers’ findings suggest that shifting toward a DASH diet may be the most significant benefit to lowering hypertension compared with other lifestyle changes. Additionally, they estimated that adopting a DASH diet may prevent 15,000 heart disease events like heart attack and stroke among men and 11,000 similar events among women.

The other lifestyle changes examined included common complementary treatments for hypertension, such as sustaining weight loss, increasing physical activity, and moderating alcohol consumption.

The researchers said lifestyle changes to decrease systolic blood pressure to below 130 mm Hg may prevent 26,000 heart attacks and strokes and decrease healthcare costs over the next 10 years. The study has not been reviewed by peers or published yet. While there are many health benefits, Bragagnini says she finds it can be challenging for people to make the shift.