… continued …
According to the latest guideline of DASH diet, here is the best recommended daily nutrient goal in order to help lower BP effectively (the following recommendation is based on 2,100 calories eating plan):
- Limit your sodium intake not more than 2,300 mg per day. If you can reduce it up to lower than 1,500 mg /day, this can be much better to give positive impact on your BP.
- Fiber is great for your digestive system and also can help reduce your bad cholesterol. According to the Institute of Medicine Formula, average men need about 38 gram per day – and about 25 gram per day for women. In Dash diet, your goal of fiber intake should be about 30 gram. If you are individual who doesn’t get used with diet high in fiber, increase it gradually in order to avoid diarrhea or bloating!
- While magnesium can help potassium control and reduce sodium in cells of the body, but you should not consume it too much. Dash diet recommends not more than 500 mg of magnesium per day. But in general, the magnesium requirement is also influenced by gender and age – see this section for more detailed information!
- Calcium intake should be about 1,250 mg per day.
- Potassium intake should be not lower than 4,700 mg per day.
- Watch on your total fat! Dash diet recommends that most of your dietary fat should come from unsaturated fats. Total fat should be not more than 27 percent of your total calories, and your dietary saturated fats should be not more than 6 percent of your total calories.
- Protein should be about 18 percent of calories.
- For carbohydrate, it should be not more than 55 percent of calories.
- And don’t forget to your dietary cholesterol – limit it as less as possible, it should be not more than 150 mg per day!
Remember that DASH diet is only one of lifestyle approaches to help treat and lower systolic blood pressure. In other words, it cannot work alone.
Other appropriate lifestyle approaches are needed for the optimum result. These can include:
- It’s also important to have regular exercise. Getting plenty of physical activity can boost your good cholesterol (HDL), maintain your healthy weight (if you are overweight, losing few pounds of your excessive weight can significantly help lower your BP and bad cholesterol), and can be good for the health of your heart and arteries in long term.
- Keep far away from bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol too much.
- Control your stress as well because stress can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure.
- Keep monitoring your BP at home! For healthy individuals, they should check their blood pressure for at least once in two years. For those with a personal history of hypertension, they should check it more often. And if you are experiencing hypertension, your doctor may ask you to check it 3-4 times a week or even almost every day. See also how to get accurate blood pressure reading with sphygmomanometer in this section!
- And if you are taking medicines for hypertension, take them as well as prescribed!
The outline of DASH diet published by the National Institutes of Health (revised April 2006 – No. 06-4082)