To increase the potassium in your diet, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of this nutrient. Dairy products are high in calcium and magnesium. DASH recommends that you eat 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables and 3 servings of low-fat dairy products each day.
Eating a diet low in both saturated fat and total fat will also help lower your blood pressure. Only 30% of your total calories should be from fat, with only 7% to 10% of your fat calories from saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in meats, cheeses, butter, poultry, snack foods, and other processed foods.
In general, vegetarian diets reduce blood pressure. The DASH diet could easily be a vegetarian diet if legumes were substituted for meat. Vegetarian diets tend to be higher in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as is the DASH diet. Vegetarian diets also are higher in fiber and unsaturated fat than other diets.
Controlling your weight, increasing your physical activity, and reducing sodium in your diet will help reduce your blood pressure even more when combined with the DASH diet.
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