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How to Follow the DASH Diet

By EatingWell Editors

These smart food choices may help your blood pressure.

Studies suggest that following the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) may help lower blood pressure. This balanced plan includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and several daily servings of low-fat dairy. It emphasizes whole (versus refined) grains and modest amounts of lean proteins, including poultry and fish, to minimize intake of unhealthy saturated fats. Here’s how to follow the DASH diet:

1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
2. Get plenty of whole grains, like quinoa, brown rice or whole-wheat couscous.
3. Aim for several daily servings of low-fat dairy.
4. Eat a modest amount of lean protein, including poultry and fish.
5. Get healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado and healthy oils, like olive oil.
6. Limit sodium. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people with diabetes limit sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day.)
7. Try to limit your intake of sugars.



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