DASH diet and high blood pressure (1 Viewer)

bonnjer

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So, a little more than 3 weeks ago, I went to the doctor for my annual wellness visit. The only times I've been to the doctor in recent years has been when I was sick, so I was venturing into new territory here. At 41, I figured my blood pressure would be on the high side, as both of my parents take meds for it. Couple that with the fact that I didn't eat the best or exercise much other than walking here and there during the day (nothing sustained) and it wasn't a huge shock when my BP was measured at 150 / 90. Since I was not experiencing any other symptoms and I stated that I would prefer not to start with meds, the doctor said, "Ok, stop back in a month and we'll check your BP again. Change your diet, try to exercise, and we'll go from there." They also did a blood draw and the numbers came back normal a few days later.

I did a little research when I got home and found the DASH diet (very similar to Mediterranean diet) that was specifically designed for hypertension about 20 years ago. It has been ranked as the #1 eating plan in the world for several years and there's a reason for it. It works.

I went out and bought a home BP monitor to keep track and collect data for when I return to the doctor. I changed my diet completely. Now, you might think, "Ohhhh, a diet, you can't eat what you want." Not true. With the DASH diet, you have a pretty big range of things to eat. I've increased my fruits / veggies, poultry / fish, whole grains, and dairy. I've dropped my sodium intake tremendously, increased my potassium and other nutrients, and drink water throughout the day. I walk at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes straight every other day (my knees are not liking this much, but ice packs tend to help).

The result after not quite three weeks? My BP reading this morning was 111 / 80. It has been steadily dropping since I started all of this. I feel better overall (other than my aching knees) and I've probably lost about 2 or 3 pounds (not that I really needed it, though). I used cronometer.com to track my daily intake of foods (great website and app) and my BP monitor connects to an app on my phone to record my readings.

I really don't know why I haven't been doing all of this for years now. I suppose after you turn 40, you start to realize that you aren't invincible anymore.
 

Hustle

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Thanks for this info, bonnjer. I too am 41 and have had high bp since I was about 20. Been on meds for it all this time and haven’t been too motivated to change my diet. I’m definitely going to be looking into DASH tho thanks to you. Appreciate it 👍🏻
 
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bonnjer

bonnjer

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Thanks for this info, bonnjer. I too am 41 and have had high bp since I was about 20. Been on meds for it all this time and haven’t been too motivated to change my diet. I’m definitely going to be looking into DASH tho thanks to you. Appreciate it 👍🏻
No problem. I should have mentioned this book that I bought too. It came out recently and has great information.

Dash Diet book
 
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Oye

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went from 155/115 and nearly 300 lbs (I'm 6'6") to 115/75 and 215 lbs (which was my HS weight) starting on the DASH diet. Didn't keep the diet up for the entire 8 months, but did for the first 3. BP went down markedly and then I moved to more sensible eating.

When I moved to Canada and had the first consultation at the university, he saw those numbers and said he could put me on medication, but I probably just needed to get off my arse.

He was right. No medication for me - then or since. That was 12 years ago. Been super steady 120/80 or slightly lower than that ever since. And resting heart rate always sits at low/mid 60s.
 
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bonnjer

bonnjer

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Giving an update for anyone who might be interested.

So I'm another week and a half, almost two weeks, into the process and things continue to improve. Blood pressure average last night was 106 / 67 and this morning it was 99 / 72.

All of this has been done in a month. From 150 / 90. Without medicine. Just prayers and a change in diet and exercise.
 

efil4stnias

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Giving an update for anyone who might be interested.

So I'm another week and a half, almost two weeks, into the process and things continue to improve. Blood pressure average last night was 106 / 67 and this morning it was 99 / 72.

All of this has been done in a month. From 150 / 90. Without medicine. Just prayers and a change in diet and exercise.

I hope everyone reads this thread. Nutrition/diet is the most important aspect of our health. Combine with exercise and you will feel the difference daily.

Congrats to you...that is fantastic!!!!
 

Jeff

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Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to digging in a bit further. Had similar results with the blood pressure. I didn't have a clue what the Dash Diet was until I read this thread but apparently I was following some of the core principles. Basically reducing sugar intake, make better choices with fats, lean protein, and increase veggie intake. We started taking food prep more seriously around the house and cut out a lot of processed and boxed meals which helped cut the sodium levels by a ton....oh, and no sodas.
 

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