One of the steps your doctor may recommend to lower your high blood pressure is to start using the DASH diet.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet is simple:
In research studies, people who were on the DASH diet lowered their blood pressure within 2 weeks.
Another diet — DASH-Sodium — calls for cutting back sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day (about 2/3 teaspoon). Studies of people on the DASH-Sodium plan lowered their blood pressure as well.
The DASH diet calls for a certain number of servings daily from various food groups. The number of servings you require may vary, depending on how many calories you need per day.
You can make gradual changes. For instance, start by limiting yourself to 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day (about 1 teaspoon). Then, once your body has adjusted to the diet, cut back to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day (about 2/3 teaspoon). These amounts include all sodium eaten, including sodium in food products as well as in what you cook with or add at the table.