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D.A.S.H Your Way to Better Health

Chances are you or someone you know has high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, usually has no symptoms and affects 1 in 3 American adults.  This occurs when your blood presses too hard against the walls of your blood vessels.  High blood pressure by itself rarely produces symptoms, but over time, if left untreated, can cause some serious health problems.  High blood pressure can cause your blood vessel walls to thicken, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and damage to other organs such as eyes and kidneys.

Maintaining a diet that is low in sodium, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, while high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber and protein can be a great way to manage high blood pressure. Small tweaks to your diet such as eating out less, cooking more at home, and buying fresh fruits and vegetables can be very effective.

Supported by the National Lung, Heart, and Blood Institute, the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension or D.A.S.H. eating plan is clinically proven to successfully reduce your blood pressure.

To D.A.S.H. your way to better health:

Add or Increase:

  • Whole fruits
  • Colorful vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese, or yogurt
  • Whole grains such as oats, barley, bulgur, quinoa, rye, and whole wheat bread and pasta
  • Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews
  • Omega-3 fats found in walnuts and fish oil
  • Water
  • Exercise (after clearance from your doctor)

Reduce or Avoid:

  • Fruit Juices
  • Sodium
  • Alcohol
  • Saturated and trans fats
  • Added sugar

The Outpatient Nutrition Services Department at WakeMed Cary Hospital offers nutrition counseling. A registered dietitian can talk to you about making healthier food choices and tailor a diet that’s right for you. Individual counseling is also offered for weight management, diabetes, heart health, and food allergies.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call or have your physician fax a referral. Phone: (919) 350-2358; Fax (919) 350-2319. Insurance coverage and costs vary.

Parul Kharod, MS, R.D, LDN is a clinical dietitian at WakeMed Cary Hospital.