Diet can save lives by lowering blood pressure

April 15, 2008 in Healthy Eating, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Diet can save lives by lowering blood pressure

There's new evidence that diet can lower blood pressure and save people from heart attack and stroke.

In a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, American researchers followed more than 88,000 healthy women for almost 25 years. Food choices were examined in relation to the number of heart attacks and strokes.

Women who ate a diet similar to the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) were 24 per cent less likely to have a heart attack and 18 per cent less likely to have a stroke than women who ate a more typical American diet.

The DASH diet is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and favours low-fat milk and plant-based protein like legumes and soy over meat. It's recommended by the American Heart Association as an effective way to manage and prevent high blood pressure.

Previous research has shown that this low-fat, low-salt diet can help prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol - both of which can lead to heart attacks.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, high blood pressure affects one in five Canadians. It's the number one risk factor for stroke and heart disease that may be prevented and controlled through diet.    

Following the DASH diet, reducing salt and alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy body weight are some nutrition strategies that can lower blood pressure.

Check Leslie Beck's Foods that Fight Disease to find out more about how nutrition affects your blood pressure.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.