DASH Diet: Tips and Strategies for Improving Blood Pressure

Has your doctor recommended you go on the DASH diet to reduce your blood pressure? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the nutrition guidelines in the DASH diet and not sure how to start? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

In this podcast episode, RD Lisa zeroes in on high blood pressure and how to improve your blood pressure through the foods you eat. Specifically, she discusses the DASH diet, which is an evidenced-based eating pattern that was developed specifically to improve blood pressure. She provides her best tips and strategies for getting off to a great start with this diet…and keeping the momentum going!

Quick cheat sheet for the squeaky clean elements of the DASH eating plan:

  • Choose foods that are good sources of:
    • Potassium: Dark leafy greens, white beans, soybeans, lima beans, sweet potato, avocado, low-fat yogurt, halibut, trout, tuna, rockfish, winter squash
    • Magnesium: Dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, avocado
    • Calcium: tofu, dark leafy greens (collards, bok choy, kale), low-fat dairy, sardines
    • Protein: fish, poultry, tofu, low-fat dairy, legumes (beans/lentils/peas), nuts or eggs (in moderation)
    • Fiber: vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, legumes
  • Minimize these:
    • Sodium intake:
      • Limit to 2300 mg/day
      • In some situations, limit to 1500 mg/day
    • Foods/beverages with added sugar:
      • Sweets, baked goods, candy
      • Sweet beverages
    • Fats/oils, including saturated fats:
      • Red meat
      • Full-fat dairy products
      • Tropical oils: coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil

Essentially, the key to success with the DASH eating pattern is to include foods into your meals on a regular basis which are great sources of the key nutrients of the DASH diet – potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber.

Hit the play button above to listen and learn simple and straightforward tips and strategies for improving your blood pressure.

*Note: High-potassium foods are not recommended for those with End Stage Kidney Disease (Chronic Kidney Disease, Stage 5)


Link to NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s main webpage on the DASH eating plan: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/dash-eating-plan

Link to NIH handout of tips for reducing sodium: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/all-publications-and-resources/tips-reduce-salt-sodium

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