DASH diet for high blood pressure?

ericasjFebruary 1, 2005

I was at the doctor's for something else, and my blood pressure was a bit high. He told me to cut down on salt, stop taking OTC cold medicines, and come back in a few weeks to get it checked again. It's been high before, and this runs in my family, so I won't be surprised if he wants to start me on medicine at that point--but I'd like to minimize it.

I came across the DASH diet that's supposed to lower you blood pressure. It's lower salt, more potassium, lots of fruits and veggies. Has anyone had much success with it? Have you been able to follow it very well using prepared/convenience foods? I hate to cook!


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Prepared/convenience foods are loaded with salt. Far more than anyone needs, even those with no BP problems. So to answer your question, NO, you can't follow it very well and eat those foods. It just depends on what you hate most, high blood pressure or cooking. Try getting on the DASH diet gradually and you won't miss your favorites quite as much. But you really need to do it.
Good luck

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 9:26AM
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Lower salt and lots of fruits and veggies would benefit everyone. I've read that the potassium in bananas and other foods can help lower BP. PB is right -- prepared/convenience foods are loaded with sodium, and lots of other things that aren't healthy.

I'm not a huge fan of cooking either but there are simple things you can fix. I'd avoid sauces, gravies, canned items as much as possible and eat just pure foods cooked in a little olive oil such as chicken or fish, steamed vegies or salads with lots of vegies in them (go easy on the dressing), a little butter (not margarine) with whole grain bread, and fruit for snacks and dessert with some wheat crackers.

BTW, exercise and losing weight is very helpful too. My mom took medication for high BP for years (it runs in her family ) and was able to stop taking the medication after she recently lost all her excess weight through daily exercise and healthier eating, at the age of 74. I'm very proud of her for taking that route.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 4:34PM
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Thanks for the replies. I think you're right about just trying to keep things simple. Congratulations to your mom, Jen. I know losing more weight would help me, too, but it's not an easy process.

I managed to lose 10 pounds last year watching fat and calories, still eating a fair amount of fast food. I went to CalorieKing.com, found the seemingly healthiest foods at our usual haunts, and made up a list of "safe" foods I liked. But I hadn't even looked at sodium content.

Now I'm looking over those old reliables, and finding tons of sodium wherever I look. It's as if they know they are losing flavor using lower fat, and are trying to make up for it with more salt. At McDonald's, even their McVeggie burger on a whole wheat roll has 1200 mg of sodium! The low fat salad dressing I had yesterday turned out to have over 700 mgs, and the grilled chicken salad by itself had 800.

I don't plan on giving this stuff up altogether, but I can sure see how careful you'd need to be to make up for just one fast-food meal.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 10:57AM
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