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Advances in Biological Research 8 (2): 94-96, 2014
© IDOSI Publications, 2014
Corresponding Author: V. Padma, Professor of Medicine, Sree Balaji Medical College,
Chrompet, Chennai-600044. Tamilnadu, India.
DASH Diet in Preventing Hypertension
Professor of Medicine, SreeBalaji Medical College, Chrompet, Chennai, India
Abstract: DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a dietary pattern promoted by
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, United States to control and prevent hypertension. It is a healthy way
in which hypertension can be prevented. It encourages you to take a diet rich in potassium, calcium and
magnesium and reduce intake of sodium in your diet. DASH diet is rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, fish,
meat, poultry, nuts, beans and low fat dairy products. DASH diet helps you to reduce your systolic blood
pressure by 8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mmHg, which could make a lot of difference in reducing
morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients.DASH diet also prevents osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease,
stroke and diabetes as it has a high quotient of antioxidant rich food. DASH diet pattern is adjusted to have
a daily caloric intake from 1699 to 3100 calories.
Key words: DASH diet Hypertension Blood Pressure
Hypertension is thought to affect around 1 billion
population world wide . The relationship between
blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease events
is continuous, consistent and independent of other risk
DASH diet also prevents osteoporosis, cancer ,
heart disease, stroke and diabetes as it has a high
quotient of antioxidant rich food.
DASH diet  emphasises intake of diet rich in
fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy products,
moderate intake of poultry, fish, wholegrains and nuts.
Standard DASH Diet: DASH diet with intake of 2300
milligrams(mg) of sodium per day.
Lower Sodium DASH Diet: DASH diet with around 1500
milligram of sodium per day.
Normal diet has more than 3500 mg of sodium per
day. Both the DASH diets have lower sodium in their
regimen. The low sodium regimen is mainly used for
patients who are more than 51 years, blacks, patients with
hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
To reduce weight the total calories should be less than
1600 per day. DASH diet has a calorie of 2000 per day.
Modification Approximate SBP Reduction (range)
Weight reduction 5-20mmHg/ 10kg weight loss
Adopt DASH eating plan 8-14 mmHg
Dietary sodium reduction 2-8 mmHg
Physical activity 2-9 mmHg
Moderation of alcohol consumption 2-4 mmHg
DASH diet ,:
One teaspoon of salt has 2300 mg sodium. For a low
sodium DASH diet 2/3 teaspoon of table salt would give
1500 mg of sodium.
The table below shows the changes that occurs in
bloodpressure on adopting one of the lifestyle
modification programmes for control of hypertension
Recommended serving from each food group for a DASH
diet of 2000 calories:
Grains:6-8 servings per day:
One serving of grains include one ounce of dry
cereal,1/2 cup of cooked cereal, one slice whole wheat
bread,1/2 cup cooked rice and ½ cup pasta. Focus should
be on whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole grain
bread.Avoid using cheese, cream or butter.
Advan. Biol. Res., 8 (2): 94-96, 2014
Fruits:4-5 servings per day. Sweets:5 or fewer per week.
Except avocado and coconut all fruits are rich in One serving is one tablespoon of sugar,one cup
fibre,potassium,magnesium and low in fat.One serving lemonade,one tablespoon jelly or jam and ½ cup sorbet.
includes one medium fruit,4 ounces of juice and ½ cup of Choose sweets with low fat like hard candy, sorbet,
frozen or canned fruits. Do not leave edible peel of fruits jelly bean etc.
like apple, pears etc. which are rich in nutrients and fibre. Reduce intake of cola or other soft drinks and replace
If you choose canned fruits and juice see to it that no them with butter milk, coconut water, low fat milk and
sugar is added. plain water.
Diary:2-3 servings per day calories but is of no nutritive value.
Diary products like milk, yogurt and cheese are rich Alcohol and caffeine:
in calcium,protein and vitamin D.One serving includes one
cup yogurt,one cup skimmed or one percent milk or half Recommended allowance is one drink per day for
ounce of cheese. Fat free cheeses are high in sodium, women and two or fewer drinks per day for men.
so be careful. Patients having lactose intolerance lactose Caffeine can cause an increase in blood pressure
free diary products are recommended. temporarily hence hypertensive patients should take
Leanmeat,fish and poultry:6 or fewer servings per
Meat is a rich source of iron, proteins, B vitamins and DASH diet is not only for control of blood
zinc. One serving includes one egg, one ounce of skinless pressure but it also helps in reduction of weight and also
poultry and one ounce of seafood. Eat more of fishes high for good health.DASH eating plan lowers blood pressure
in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, herring and tuna. in 14 days.It has been proven that this change occurs
Instead of frying in fat, trim away skin and fat from poultry even without reducing salt intake. DASH diet with low
and meat and bake, broil, grill or roast poultry and meat. sodium helps you to reduce your systolic blood pressure
Soyabean products like tofu have all aminoacids and can by 8.9 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 4.5 mmHg,
be an alternative to meat. which could make a lot of difference in reducing
Nuts,seeds and legumes:4 to 5 servings per week Hypertensive subjects experience an average reduction of
Seeds like almonds, kidney beans, peas, lentils, cancer, heart disease, stroke, kidney stones 
sunflower seeds and other foods are a good source of and diabetes as it has a high quotient of antioxidant
magnesium, protein and potassium. These seeds have rich food.
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