The heart-healthy DASH diet has been proven to reduce high blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is one of the primary risk factors for heart disease. The DASH diet is an excellent dietary pattern for overall good health. It’s light on red meat and sugar, and heavy on naturally fiber-rich whole foods.
Shop for these and other similar items and learn to incorporate them into your daily routine. Note that as you add more fiber-rich whole foods to your diet, your bowel habits may change somewhat. Make changes gradually, but steadily, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
The following is adopted from guidelines published by the National Institutes of Health/Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
whole wheat bread
whole wheat pasta
whole oats (e.g. steel cut oats)
quinoa (rinse thoroughly before cooking)
grapefruit/grapefruit juice (Check with your doctor if you take prescription medication(s))
Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk or buttermilk
fat-free, low-fat, or reduced-fat cheese
fat-free or low-fat regular or frozen yogurt
(Ed. note: Since the inception of the DASH diet new research has emerged which suggests that consuming solely fat-free dairy may be counter-productive. Consumption of full-fat dairy is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and diabetes, for example. Most recently, consumption of full-fat dairy—but not no-fat dairy—was associated with a significantly lower risk of the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is a constellation of symptoms and conditions that includes high blood pressure, and/or type 2 diabetes, and/or obesity. Given this and similar evidence, it appears likely that recommendations to consume solely zero-fat dairy will eventually be amended.)
Lean Meats, Poultry and Fish
lean poultry (skin removed)
Nuts, Seeds and Legumes
Almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, nut butters, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas, sesame seed, etc.
Fats & Oils
extra virgin olive oil
Sugars (extremely limited quantities only)