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    DASH: Lower Blood Pressure Without Pharmaceuticals

    Atkins. South Beach. Ketogenic. Whole30. Baked Potato. The list goes on. With so many diets promising quick and easy results, how do you help your patients separate fact from fiction and fad from fundamental? Luckily, U.S. News and World Report releases an annual ranking of the year’s best diets. Evaluated by 25 nationally recognized experts whose qualifications range from medical directors to registered dietitians, 40 diets are put to the test and ranked in various categories. This year, for the 8th year in a row, the NIH-developed dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet was rated #1 in the Best Diet Overall category (tied with the Mediterranean diet).

    Originally developed to combat hypertension, the DASH diet focuses on “vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.” This combination of healthy foods can help followers “reduce their blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks.” If followed in combination with a reduced intake of sodium, the DASH diet is a proven means of lowering blood-pressure without the use of pharmaceuticals.

    As the American Heart Association encourages physicians to intervene earlier with treatment for high-risk hypertension patients (we’re looking at you, new blood pressure guidelines), it is important for you to understand the impact the DASH diet can have on your patients and, where appropriate, to start a conversation about healthy behavioral changes.

    The DASH diet is a proven nutrition plan that supports long-term lifestyle changes that are beneficial to everyone.

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