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Fight High Blood Pressure with the DASH Diet - Part 2

April 16, 2012

In our last post, we provided a basic overview of the DASH diet. Today, we will discuss how you can incorporate the diet into your life to control high blood pressure.

Changes in your diet should be made gradually. If you try to change everything at once, you may not be able to adapt to the changes well and start deviating from your diet plan.

Here are some tips to help you get started on the DASH diet:

  • healthy eating vegetablesIf you are eating one or two servings of vegetables a day, just add one serving for lunch and another for dinner.
  • If you are not eating any fruit now or just drinking juice, you should add a serving of fruits to your meals or eat them as snacks.
  • Use half the amount of salad dressing, butter, and margarine you are using now.
  • Use fat-free or low-fat condiments.
  • Increase consumption of dairy products gradually to three servings a day. For instance, replace soda, sugar-sweetened tea, and alcohol with milk when having lunch or dinner. To reduce total intake of fat, use fat-free or 1% low-fat dairy products.

Many people consider meat the main item in their meals. If you want to adopt a heart healthy diet, you have to treat meat as just a part of your meals, not the main focus.

  • If you are eating a lot of meat now, reduce it by a third or a half at every meal.
  • Limit your consumption of meat to two servings, or 6 ounces, a day.
  • Add at least two vegetarian meals every week.
  • Increase consumption of vegetables, pasta, rice, and dry beans.