May 17 was the World Hypertension Day!
The theme for World Hypertension Day 2017 is “Know Your Numbers” with a goal of increasing high blood pressure awareness in all populations around the world. According to a recent study published in Lancet, one in eight deaths worldwide is due to high blood pressure. The well-known causes of high blood pressure include lack of exercise, being overweight, and diets that include too much salt and alcohol and not enough fruits and vegetables. Attempting to reduce high blood pressure with medications may not be as effective as lifestyle approaches, as medications do not treat the underlying cause. Even people who are already on blood pressure-lowering drugs could further decrease their risk by adopting a well balanced diet, limiting alcohol, and implementing healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise and weight management plans.
What’s the Best Diet for Hypertension?
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a dietary pattern, and lifelong approach to healthy eating designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure. It was promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to prevent and control hypertension.The DASH diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients such as plenty of fruits and vegetables and low-fat or non-fat dairy, with whole grains. It is a high fiber, low to moderate fat diet, rich in such as potassium, calcium and magnesium among others.
According a report by the Institute of Medicine in the U.S, adults are advised to consume at least 4.7 grams of potassium each day in order to lower blood pressure. This level of consumption, they say, will diminish the effects of salt and reduce kidney stones risk, as well as bone loss, which was recently highlighted by the following study:
*Cardiovascular benefits associated with higher dietary K+ vs. lower dietary Na+: evidence from population and mechanistic studiesAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism Published 4 April 2017 Vol. 312 no. 4
So don’t forget to balance your potassium levels and consume plenty of fruits and vegetables!!!