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Hypertension Does An Improved Diet Help?

Aug 17, 2007
Throughout the majority of the Western World the incidences of High Blood Pressure, Stroke and Cardiovascular problems are rising. The main culprit it would appear (according to experts) is the Western Diet.

After much in depth research the conclusion that most Scientists and experts have agreed upon is that our great and glorious diet is actually a sleeping disaster waiting to happen. I think the expression is Living La Dolce Vita, Life at the full and too much of almost everything that we enjoy.

Is this a rather depressing fact or not?

It is not all bad news and if we examine most studies and read between the lines and take the findings and result carefully, we can find that we can do something about all of this. We do not have to sit back and just let all of this happen to us without doing something positive about it.

The approach to dietary influences upon High Blood Pressure almost changed overnight with the publication in 1997 in the New England Journal of Medicine of the Dietary Approaches to stop Hypertension (DASH). Here at last was empirical evidence that through the adoption of a careful diet we could positively influence how we are affected by High Blood Pressure

The DASH Diet

The JNC (Joint National Committee on Health) adopted the results and findings of this study in such a positive and glowing manner that all citizens were recommended to follow what has since become known as the DASH Diet. The key recommendation here is that all people not just those suffering from High Blood Pressure should follow these dietary principles.

The diet proposes a regime that is low in Fat, and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Apparently the results of this plan were so impressive that those who were part of the initial study group quickly experienced a significant lowering in the levels of their Blood Pressure.

The initial volunteers on this study group were chosen from a random population of people suffering from Hypertension ad were randomly assigned three various dietary programmes to follow. The first was based on the conventional American diet that was 37% of the calories provided from fatty products. The second group was allocated a programme largely the same but with the additional benefits of added fruit and vegetables. The third group was allocated to the programme that later become known as the DASH Diet. This was 27% of the calories from fat, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low fat or non fat dairy products and finally small amounts of meat, fish, poultry and nuts.

It is not surprising when you analyse the study which particular group emerged with the best results with the DASH group experiencing bigger drops on Blood Pressure levels that the others.

What was really remarkable about the findings of this study is the results published were actually on a par or better than results published as a result of Pharmaceutical Trials for new drugs. Not bad eh?

So it would appear that now the evidence is actually in front of us, we can do something about our health (not just more exercise, though this is undoubtedly good too!) through what we actually consume.
About the Author
Stephen Morgan writes regularly on issues involving
High Blood Pressure Treatment
and further information on this article can be found at

http://www.livingwithhighbloodpressure.net/highbloodpressure/high_blood_pressure_diet.html
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