Hypertension Control Tips
I think if we spent more energy and resources teaching people how to follow low sodium diets like DASH, it would be helpful. There is a lot of misinformation about the effects of sodium on the body out there and many people believe it is good for them until they get sick and are told it is not. Yes, just telling us to eat more veggies and fruit is good (i.e half your plate), but if I am still dousing my rice in 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 5 times a week, I undo a lot of the good I gain healthwise from the plant based diet.
Although moving to a DASH diet that contained no more than 1500 mg per day was not easy for me in the begining; 10 years later it is a piece of cake and I do it daily! It is just a matter of getting through the initial learning, organization and planning process. It can be done!!
20 years of research behind the DASH diet! It lowered my blood pressure from a one time high of 170/90 to where it is today. I do not use any blood pressure drugs. I will have been following a DASH diet lifestyle for 10 years this coming June.
I can’t wait to read it! I have been following a hybrid of the diets for about 5 years now, partly because Alzheimers runs badly in my family, so it is important I am not only maintaining a diet to keep my blood pressure low, but also to keep my brain as healthy as possible! That means defaulting to Mediterranean choices, within a overall DASH framework for me (e.g. low sodium).
It is a good article on adherence issues with the DASH diet, but I only eat 5 servings of veggies a day, not 7, at least most days. In fact I don’t recall the diet calling for 7 servings at all, 4-5 per day is more like it. I definitely hit 5 fruit servings too.
Most of my veggies are eaten at my main meal, where I will usually eat at least 2 cups of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc at one sitting, but it has sharp cheddar or some other delicious cheese melted on it to make it yummy. All that fibre certainly helps to keep me full.
I personally think the biggest issue is you need to make a commitment to follow the diet for a long time, not a short one, because once it becomes ingrained as an eating pattern, it becomes preferred. Especially strong, is how distaste for salt and salty foods increases the longer the diet is followed. However it takes awhile to get there…
The main reason I so earnestly embraced the DASH diet, as my weight loss vehicle, was because I was already seriously hypertensive. Whatever diet I used to lose weight, would also have to work to lower my blood pressure at the same time, given I was already sick.
Thought it would be good to check in on my blood pressure for Valentine’s! It’s all about that heart! Thanks to DASH diet for helping me keep it low, without the need for medication!
Matching the right diet to your health and medical needs is very important and one of the reasons I believe the DASH diet my Doctor prescribed me, was so effective. It was exactly what I needed, at the right time to eliminate, a whole bunch of sickness and pain I was experiencing daily.
The diet not only eliminated my hypertension, but also enabled a 90 pound weight loss, which I have maintained for more than 5 years now. In total, by continuing to follow the diet, it has enabled me to keep 130 pounds off my body from a highest weight point, of 274 pounds in my late 20’s.
Prior to finding DASH diet, I was hypertensive with obesity that ranged as high as class 3. To lose so much weight required 18 months of solid daily calorie restriction with DASH, ranging between 1300-1500 cals per day. I have spent 5 years now maintaining this weight loss and I notice that I dont seem to gain weight following a DASH diet lifestyle, even if I eat too much.
Over Christmas/New Years and all the weeks before that, there were days I would have sworn I should have put on weight with my food intake and I just never did. If I do gain a few pounds, it just comes off, without much conscious effort that I am really aware of anymore. I do continue to weigh myself, almost daily to ensure I am always still monitoring things. I continue to exercise vigorously although I didn’t as intensively or as often, over these holidays, as I was nursing a lower back injury.
Perhaps good habits, as Dr Katz (I am a fan) discusses, are just becoming more ingrained and a part of me that I do not notice them? I used to have to watch my calories much more closely to maintain weight and these days, this is not so important for maintenance. Something has changed in a good way and I hope it continues. Will have to keep an eye on it and see if my own aging process changes this, given calorie needs lessen as we get older.
My alternative theory is, that its a super, cold chilly, winter and I can’t stop shivering much of the time. I have never never been as warm as I used to be before I lost all this weight, in the winter (probably the only thing I miss). This is very unusual for my area, usually quite balmy in winter, so maybe I am just burning way more calories than usual.
DASH diet wins best diet again!! That makes it 7 years in a row now, so you know it’s a good thing!! I have followed this diet faithfully since spring of 2009, and successfully achieved a 90 pound weight loss and have maintained a 130 pound total weight loss with it. I also completely eliminated my hypertension with the diet! Will post more tonight after work on these exciting results!