According to a new study combining a diet rich in fruit and vegetables with decreased salt intake can lower blood pressure, even in those not suffering from hypertension. The DASH (Dietary Approached to Stop Hypertension) diet can lead to significant health benefits. Previous research has shown it lowers blood pressure, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease.
The DASH diet is high in fruit and vegetables and low fat dairy produce, reduced in total and saturated fat, as well as sugar. The latest report, from researchers at Texas University suggest that DASH is especially powerful when combined with salt reduction. A group of 300 participants, with a range of blood pressures, took part in a trial where they received either the DASH diet or the regular American diet in conjunction with varying salt levels. Low salt and DASH produced the most significant reductions in blood pressure, even among those whose blood pressure was already normal. Since there's growing evidence that the lower the blood pressure, the less the risk of stroke or heart attack, everyone can benefit from this regime. When it comes to salt, watch out for processed foods, even if you don't add salt at table.