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DASH Diet Plan Works Better With These Changes…

If you are exploring the DASH diet plan for hypertension and have your systolic blood pressure over 130, you might want to learn about the ENCORE study. You need to achieve a significant reduction in your blood pressure, and this study has tested and published the way to do it. Simply put, it has concluded that combining the DASH Diet Plan with two more actions helps to reduce blood pressure by 45% more than the DASH diet alone.

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About ENCORE Study

Conducted in 2008, this study included overweight and obese individuals who don’t take medications and have prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (systolic BP, 130-159 mm Hg; or diastolic BP, 85-99 mm Hg).

Participants were split into three groups:

  • control group that did not change anything
  • group #2 on theDASH diet plan alone
  • group #3 on the DASH diet with weight management

The study was conducted over the course of 4 months and produced very encouraging results for those of us who need to lower blood pressure:

  • the DASH plus weight loss group #3 had reduced blood pressure by 16.1/9.9 mm Hg
  • the Dash diet alone group #2 achieved a drop in their blood pressure by 11.2/7.5 mm
  • And the group that did nothing had a 3.4/3.8 mm reduction.

There were more positive side effects beside reducing blood pressure. But let us stop and think for a moment. Reducing your blood pressure by 16 points can move you out of the risk zone for a heart attack, kidney failure, congestive heart failure and stroke. This action alone may save your life.

Hypertension facts

Consider these hypertension facts for a moment:

  • From 1996 to 2006 the death rate from high blood pressure increased 19.5 percent, and the actual number of deaths rose 48.1 percent. It was the highest among African Americans of a non-Hispanic descent.
  • Every 45 seconds someone has a stroke in the United States, every 3-4 minutes someone dies. Those who survive have great chances of losing quality of life. One study of stroke survivors over 65 years of age showed that
    • 30% needed assistance to walk
    • 26% needed help with activities such as cooking, feeding, and paying their bills
    • 19% had trouble speaking, or understanding others when they speak
    • 35% had feelings of depression
    • 50% had some degree of paralysis on one side of the body
    • 26% became nursing home residents
  • Chances of stroke drop by one third with each 10 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure. The association is consistent across sexes, regions, and stroke subtypes and for fatal and nonfatal events.
  • Every seven minutes a heart attack happens in Canada. Heart disease is strongly associated with high blood pressure.
  • the DASH diet plan and weight loss work better than the Dash Diet Plan alone

    The Encore study is one of many that concluded that weight management results in lower blood pressure. What does it mean for you?

    Adding two changes to your lifestyle will help you reduce blood pressure faster. These changes are:

    • Exercise
    • Limiting calories in your daily food intake

    Exercise to lower blood pressure

    If you are overweight, it may be hard for you to run or do weight lifting. Start with walking.

      1. Walking

    Some ideas on how to make a daily walk a part of your life:

      • Download your favourite music or books onto your mp3 player. Walk in the park or in your neighbourhood while listening.
      • Walk up and down the stairs at work and at home. One example is – when you have to bring a bunch of things downstairs, bring them one by one. Climbing stairs is an amazing exercise that gets your heart rate up quickly
      • Walk to a convenience store.
      • Join the walking group. Having social support helps to stay on track and get better results faster
    1. You can also join Weight Watchers, a program that has a proven track record of losing weight and keeping it off.
    2. You can join an online weight loss community and start making serious changes. Having community support raises your chances of success. By increasing your muscle mass you will cause calories to burn faster, and accelerate your weight loss. Check out Bestseller Fat Loss Coach Tom Venuto and join his Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle community.
    3. Breathing exercises have been an effective way to lower blood pressure quickly.
    4. Yoga, especially Bikram yoga, lowers blood pressure as well.

    Diet for high blood pressure

    The DASH diet plan alone can help you lower blood pressure by 11 points. However, consider the 1200 calorie or 1600 calorie DASH diet to cause weight loss. I have several articles and recipes on this site to help you understand the benefits and dangers of the 1200 calorie DASH diet plan. You can find recipes and explanations on how to build your own DASH diet plan.

    In conclusion, when a heart event or stroke happens, all we can do is feel sorry for not taking action in the past. This is if we can even feel anything, assuming we have survived these debilitating events. Starting to make small changes in your life, such as eating more by the DASH diet guidelines and being more physically active is a good prevention tactic that may save your life.

    1. Blood Pressure and Stroke: An Overview of Published Reviews
    2. Encore study
    3. Heart Attack Recovery Facts

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