According to new research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the DASH plan, designed to be heart healthy, has now been proven to lower blood pressure and possibly reduce heart failure. At the same as announcing the findings, the organization has released new user-friendly materials to help people follow the diet. The DASH — Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — eating plan focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, nuts and healthy oils. Full-fat dairy, salt, red meat, alcohol and sugar are limited.
Research from Wake Forest School of Medicine found that, because of this lower blood pressure, the diet may also lower the risk of heart failure in people under the age of 75 by almost half. The research found that “The risk of heart failure did not vary significantly by DASH compliance for the population as a whole, but it did for participants under 75, with those in the group with the highest DASH compliance group having an incidence rate 40 percent lower than those in the lowest compliance group.”
Dr. Claudia Campos, associate professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine, observed that the 40 percent reduction is “better than any medicine.”
The study, was significant, using the heart health records for 4,478 people between the ages of 45-84, of different ethnicities, genders and backgrounds, in six different locations in the country, over 13 years. The DASH plan wasn’t designed to combat heart failure, just high blood pressure. This secondary find is terrific.
To review the DASH plan and learn how to follow it, click here. Do not make changes to your diet without first consulting your doctor. A healthy diet for many people might not suit your medical needs.