My husband and I have been following the DASH for six months now. We've both lost nearly the desired amount of weight and hope to continue this way of eating as a lifestyle, not a diet. We're definitely never hungry and I believe, for us, it's been the combination of the specific number of servings of each food group that brings the weight loss along. I've been following a 1200 calorie/diet regime and my husband follows 2000 calories/day. We've learned alot and continue to learn everyday of different things we can add to our plan to stay within the limits of calories/sodium/etc for the DASH. We are true believers! One tip I would add, is that you can make your own dry, low (or no) sodium mixes for just about anything you want to cook, i.e., taco mix, spaghetti mix, etc. It's exciting to find the recipes and implement them and to see the difference in sodium that the homemade recipe has compared to the mixes you buy. Definitely, one easy change you can make.
I used to take Lisinopril until I began to exercise regularly. Then, my BP when down to normal. & my kidney function returned to almost normal! When I went off cholesterol med, it returned to 100% normal. Now both my sodium & my potassium are low. I take potassium.
I wish there could have been more info on the role POTASSIUM , calcium and other minerals play in regulating blood sodium levels. Other than that it was a very good article. Ironically the last time I bought soy sauce the "no - name" brand had LESS sodium in it than the name brand "reduced salt" did. Go figure- it pays to read labels.
My father is 86 years old and has had hypertenion for over 40 years. When he was diagnosed, he was told to lose weight, exercise, and limit salt. He was one of the rare people who did all those things, but still needed medication to keep his hypertension under control. Sometimes diet and exercise aren't enough. I'm extremely grateful that by the time my father was diagnosed in the late 1960s there were medications to keep his blood pressure in check. He's outlived both of his parents, who died at much younger ages from complications based on hypertension (heart attack & stroke).
After 25 years, I was able to discontinue my hypertension medication after losing fifty pounds through a combination of DASH diet principles combined with cardio, strength, and yoga exercise. More importantly, by staying with this diet and exercise regimen, I have maintained my weight loss for a year now. In my retirement, I find myself training to become an instructor for the Silver Sneakers program and for yoga. Typically, I'm 20 years older than the other trainees for Silver Sneakers and 30 years older than those in the yoga training. It's never too late to begin working to be well. But you already knew that.
4/15/2012 2:47:42 AM
I have flabby/large arms, so when my blood pressure (BP) is checked in the traditional way with an arm cuff it is really painful, which puts my blood pressure up!!!
I was on meds for high BP untill I invested in a wrist BP monitor (one approved by the British Hypertensive Society). MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS NORMAL. I have not taken any BP meds for 6 years.
So if like me you have large arms insist on the largest cuff possible to check your BP (its more accurate and less painful). DO NOT LET ANYONE CHECK YOUR BP WITH A SMALL CUFF. I often take my BP monitor along to situations where my BP might be checked, just in case they dont have a very large cuff.
If I ate all the recommended servings, I would gain weight. Fortunately, I have low bp for my age because of my weight loss and exercise regimen. I'm really proud of that since everyone else in my family is on meds for high bp.
More important than cutting salt for blood pressure is cutting sugars and starches. Most people who eliminate refined wheat and corn products and cut out empty sugar calories see a drop in blood pressure and a positive improvement in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It has a lot to do with lowering the overabundance of insulin in your system to a more manageable level.
9/10/2011 7:43:38 AM
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5/2/2011 9:47:38 PM
Just today I went to a new Dr. and she was really great about not making me feel pathethic that I was taking Blood Pressure med and was chunky for being young. Instead she talked positive and handed me a handout when I left- it was the DASH diet. I looked over it but it seemed just like another thing to fail at that I'd be done with in a week. I decided to come BACK to the Spark account I set up a few months ago and guess what article I find not long after I logged back in? DASH diet. Apparently we are destined to find each other DASH. My Dr. thinks in just a few months i can be off the meds. I had accepted that I would have to be on them the rest of my life because of heredity but this was the first spark of hope I've had in a while.
As far as the "tips" they give at the bottom, they are awesome, but even then, you have to really be aware of the nutrition info on EVERYTHING. Bread, cheese [even low fat or "reduced sodium"] and anything even remotely "processed" is loaded with salt. It's very difficult to stay under the RDA by simply choosing "reduced sodium" products.
4/13/2011 12:56:15 PM
I have used the DASH diet for several years and it certainly does work to lower your blood pressure. I was on the verge of going on meds and tried DASH instead and for several years now my BP has been good and I haven't had to go on medication, which I would like to avoid if possible. The meal tracking on Sparkpeople and the recipe calculator on Sparkrecipes are great tools to use when working with the DASH diet. A very powerful combination!
Great news,I have never heard of the Dash diet but it has my attention,I like what I read and am going to give it a try.Keep up the good work.
3/9/2011 9:59:59 AM
I've followed this type of diet for years as I have had HBP for a while now. However when you get older often the diet with exercies fails due to a lower motabolizim, weight gain or other health related factor. I prefer to see the nuts section be added everyday with the meats section cut down to 2-3 times per week...rather add beans/rice, pasta dishes, omletes/salad combos, etc. Also people often miss how much salt is in things like bread, muffins, and canned goods.....using a cookbook sponsored by the american heart association for low salt cooking works great and eatting whole foods, sauces cooked from scratch and learning how to make a home made soup broth or tomato sauce works great when added to other items in order to cut the salt. Ovo Vegitarian style keeps some fats as compared to a full vegan. Use some no salt peanut butters such as Crazy Richards, oils, nuts, eggs (egg substitute), and dairy (soy milk or skim) while still keeping the cholesteral/salt out of the diet. In addition oats, brown rice, or whole grain pasta should be the grain of choice...and stay away from bread.....my mom always told me beans are good for your heart ;)....and so they are..add to soup, salad, rice casserole dishes or make a sandwich spread out of them!
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