Eating a low salt diet can provide you with a multitude of health benefits. Likewise, so can eating certain minerals like calcium and potassium. Did you know that eating a diet low in salt and high in certain nutrients may serve to lower your blood pressure too?
There’s a name for such a diet: the DASH Diet.
Following the DASH Diet may help seniors and younger adults manage their blood pressure. It’s important to eat for your heart no matter what stage of life you’re in.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s more of a program for healthy
living than a mere diet. It’s a lifestyle designed to make you healthier.
Just a few weeks of following the program may result in a reduction of your blood pressure by a few points. No miracles here, no pills and no medications. Just healthy eating habits.
The DASH Diet in a Nutshell:
Limit daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg (1,500 mg if you’re on the Lower Sodium DASH Diet)
6-8 servings of grains per day
4-5 servings of vegetables per day
4-5 servings of fruit per day
2-3 servings of dairy per day
6 or fewer servings of lean meat, poultry, or fish per day
4-5 servings of nuts, seeds, and legumes per WEEK
2-3 servings of fats and oils per day
Sweets: 5 or fewer per WEEK
Vegetables and fruits high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium are especially important because these minerals have been shown to help lower blood pressure. Suggestions include peaches, raisins, leafy greens, tomatoes, beets and carrots.
Almost a third of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. Another third suffers prehypertension. What’s worse, of the people who have high blood pressure, only about half of them have the condition under control.
When high blood pressure goes unchecked, it can lead to serious health problems, such as a stroke, heart attack and or other forms of heart disease.
Seniors should note that high blood pressure is actually more common in women than in men. Younger women are less likely to have the condition, but once they turn 65 they’re more likely to have it than their male counterparts.
There’s actually some good news in all this. Following the DASH Diet might help prevent you from having to take blood pressure medicine.
As with any new diet or new form of exercise, check with your doctor before getting started.