Black people are 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease and 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure or hypertension than whites. It is estimated that one in three adults has high blood pressure, but many do not know they have it.
High blood pressure is sometimes called a “silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms until serious problems develop.
Maintaining a normal blood pressure level can reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Scientific evidence shows that following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lowers blood pressure and LDL cholesterol—often referred to as bad cholesterol, which reduces risk factors for stroke and is good for your heart.
The DASH eating plan is flexible and balanced. The plan recommends eating fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also has less sodium; sweets, added sugars, and beverages containing sugar; fats; and red meats than the typical American diet.
DASH limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils.
DASH is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein, and fiber – all nutrients that will help support bone health.
Studies show that the DASH diet reduces bone turnover, which may improve bone mineral status with the potential to reduce the risk for osteoporosis.
Following the DASH diet also lowers risk factors for metabolic syndrome, including elevated cholesterol, low HDL—also known as good cholesterol, and high triglycerides. Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.