What is the DASH Diet ?

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends the DASH diet for people with high blood pressure. DASH will encourage you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. DASH is a flexible and balanced eating plan with a firm grounding in research by NHLBI who advises that the diet, DASH, offers health benefits besides just lowering blood pressure because it is a healthy way of eating.

DASH diet : What to eat ?

The DASH diet includes lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. It also includes some fish, poultry, and legumes, and encourages a small number of nuts and seeds a few times a week. It is important to avoid trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and animal fats, as well as large portion sizes. Some fats, such as those in oily fish and olive oil, have protective effects on the heart. However, these are still fats. While they are typically healthful, people with a risk of hypertension should still include them in their total fat intake.

Experts recommend :

  • Eating more fruit and vegetables and less fat.
  • Managing weight.
  • Grains: 6 to 8 servings a day (whole grain, high fiber foods)
  • Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings a day (a variety of vegetables)
  • Fruits: 4 to 5 servings a day (a variety of fruits)
  • Lean meat, poultry, and fish: 6 one-ounce servings or fewer a day
  • Dairy (low-fat dairy products): 2 to 3 servings a day
  • skinless poultry and fish
  • fish rich in omega-3 twice a week
  • nontropical vegetable oils, for example, olive oil
  • Nuts, seeds, and legumes: 4 to 5 servings a week

Foods and Drugs interaction :

 Many medicines have powerful ingredients that interact with the human body in different ways.   Anyone on antihypertensive medications should carefully read the labels of any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs they may also take, such as decongestants. These OTC drugs may interact with the medications they are taking to lower their blood pressure. Major side-effects of some diet (food) on drugs include alteration in absorption by fatty, high protein, and fiber diets. Among all fruit juices, grapefruit juice possesses high interaction with almost all types of drugs. The juice modifies the body’s way of metabolizing the medication, affecting the liver’s ability to work the drug through a person’s system.

Drugs and Drugs interaction :

Drug interactions involve pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic. In pharmacodynamic interactions, one drug alters the sensitivity or responsiveness of tissues to another drug by having the same (agonistic) which can be additive effect and or synergy, or a blocking (antagonistic) effect. These effects usually occur at the receptor level but may occur intracellularly. However, in pharmacokinetic interactions, a drug usually alters absorption, distribution, protein binding, metabolism, or excretion of another drug. Thus, the amount and persistence of available drugs at receptor sites change.

Counseling Point for Hypertension :

It is in your best interest to exercise daily and to have a good diet. By doing so, your very high blood pressure can decrease tremendously. Fish oil (omega fatty acid) is proven to decrease VLDL, LDL which are bad cholesterol. It also reduces platelet aggregation which decreases cardiovascular complications.

Another good therapy to include in your diet is garlic. It does the same thing as fish oil. Garlic consumption reduces blood pressure and total cholesterol. But garlic will give your mouth a bad odor and fish oil can cause gastrointestinal upset and bleeding. However, if you follow the DASH diet, you should have no problem.

Remember Any question you may have do not hesitate to ask your health care teams. Your doctor will make recommendations based on the type of hypertension you have, your health, and other factors. Your body is the Temple of God, please take good care of it.

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Dr. Jude Fabius Pharm.D
Dr. Jude Fabius Pharm.D

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