UACES Facebook Lowering Your Blood Pressure with the DASH Eating Plan
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Lowering Your Blood Pressure with the DASH Eating Plan

DASH eating plan chart showing the amounts of foods from each food group needed per day.

6-8 servings per day of whole grains
servings per day of vegetables
servings per day of fruits
servings per day of nuts, seeds, and legumes
servings per day of fat-free or low-fat dairy
servings per day of fats and oils
Less than 6
per day of lean meat, fish, or poultry
Less than 5
servings per week of sweets 

You can help fight off high blood pressure by adopting the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan.

  • With 1 in 3 adults having high blood pressure, chances are you know someone who has high blood pressure; it may even be you. Only about half of those have their condition under control.

  • Nearly 1 of 3 American adults has pre-hypertension; blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range.

  • African Americans develop high blood pressure more often, and at an earlier age than whites and Hispanics do. More black women than men have high blood pressure. When compared to other groups, African Americans tend to get high blood pressure earlier in life, have it more severely and have a higher death rate from stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure.


High blood pressure increases your risk for dangerous health conditions.

These include a first heart attack: About 7 of every 10 people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure. First stroke: About 8 of every 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure. Chronic (long lasting) heart failure: About 7 of every 10 people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure. Kidney disease is also a major risk factor for high blood pressure.

With these dangerous health conditions possible from high blood pressure, you can take steps to prevent or control high blood pressure and its complications.


You can help fight off high blood pressure by adopting the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan!

This plan used along with other lifestyle changes can help you prevent and control your blood pressure and lower LDL "bad" cholesterol. The DASH plan includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and fruits. It is low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol. It is lower in fatty meats, red meat, full-fat dairy, sweets, sugar containing beverages, and sodium.

Graphic from DHS about what to eat when following the dash eating plan.

Eat this: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat diary, fish, poultry, beans, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils. Limit this: fatty meats, full-fat dairy, sugar sweetened beverages, sweets, sodium intake.

Following the DASH eating plan includes making good choices in preparation of foods with less salt and sodium as well. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommends consumption of less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day as part of a healthy eating pattern. The vast majority of adults eat more sodium than they should, an average of more than 3,400 mg each day.

Because it is rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium, the DASH eating plan makes it easier to consume less salt and sodium.


Wise food choices is key in reducing salt intake.

Canned soups and soups served in restaurants can contribute high amounts of sodium. Processed tomato products and salad dressings often include salt and other ingredients that contain sodium. Snack foods such as chips, crackers, and pretzels contain several hundred milligrams of sodium per serving. In fact processed foods account for most of the salt and sodium we consume.

Reduce sodium by choosing low or reduced sodium versions of foods when available.

This includes condiments. Look for those with less than 140 mg per serving. Pay close attention to how many milligrams of sodium are in each serving, and how many servings are in the package. Foods that contain 35 mg or less per serving are very low in sodium. Foods that contain 140 mg or less per serving are defined as low sodium.

If you already have high blood pressure and are not following the DASH eating plan, take the steps to learn more about it and try it. Click here for information about Salt, Sodium and Potassium  and Salt Substitutes or call me at the Miller County Extension Office at 870-779-3609.

This No Salt Seasoning is comparable to the commercial no salt seasoning, only you make it yourself and save money. It is very easy and you might like it as much as the commercial product.


No-Salt Seasoning Recipe

  • 5 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Combine all ingredients in a small jar with a shaker top. Use for seasoning broiled fish, poultry, cooked vegetables, soup and stews, or place it on the table to be used individually. Yield: One-third cup.  

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