The DASH Diet & Heart Health

  • June 06, 2017

Eating a low salt diet can earn you a host of health benefits. Likewise, so can eating certain minerals like calcium and potassium. But did you know that eating a diet low in salt and high in certain nutrients may serve to lower your blood pressure too?

There’s a name for such a diet: the DASH Diet.

Introducing the DASH Diet

It seems there’s a new eating plan to follow every year. While that’s probably true, this one is doctor-approved and based on sound principles of nutrition. In other words: nothing too fancy here.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s more of a program for healthy living than a mere diet. It’s a lifestyle designed to make you healthier.

Just a few weeks of following the program may result in a reduction of your blood pressure by a few points. No miracles here, no pills and no medications. Just healthy eating habits.

The DASH Diet in a Nutshell

Here they are in a nutshell:

  • Limit daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg (1,500 mg if you’re on the Lower Sodium DASH Diet)
  • 6-8 servings of grains per day
  • 4-5 servings of vegetables per day
  • 4-5 servings of fruit per day
  • 2-3 servings of dairy per day
  • 6 or fewer servings of lean meat, poultry, or fish per day
  • 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds, and legumes per WEEK
  • 2-3 servings of fats and oils per day
  • Sweets: 5 or fewer per WEEK
  • Limit alcohol

Vegetables and fruits high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium are especially important because these minerals have been shown to help lower blood pressure. Suggestions include peaches, raisins, leafy greens, tomatoes, beets and carrots.

The DASH Diet and Heart Health

The DASH Diet is important news, since lowering blood pressure numbers can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

For Americans, high blood pressure is a chief concern.

Almost a third of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. Another third suffers prehypertension. What’s worse, of the people who have high blood pressure, only about half of them have the condition under control.

When high blood pressure goes unchecked, it can lead to serious health problems, such as a stroke, heart attack and or other forms of heart disease.

Seniors should note that high blood pressure is actually more common in women than in men. Younger women are less likely to have the condition, but once they turn 65 they’re more likely to have it than their male counterparts.

There’s actually some good news in all this. Following the DASH Diet might help prevent you from having to take blood pressure medicine.

As with any new diet or new form of exercise, check with your doctor before getting started.

Eating for Your Heart is Smart at Any Age

Following the DASH Diet may help seniors and younger adults manage their blood pressure. It’s important to eat for your heart no matter what stage of life you’re in.

Seniors who live in a Five Star community enjoy heart-healthy meals every day. It’s all part of our Five Star Signature Dining Experience. Call us to reserve a time to join us for one of our chef-inspired meals!


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