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Blood Pressure Diet Lower Heart Attack and Stroke Risk
 for Healthy Women!

For almost 25 years, food choices of more than 88,000 healthy women were examined by researchers. Women who had eating habits similar to those recommended by the government to stop high blood pressure had the least number of heart attacks and strokes.

This large study, which was conducted by Simmons College with findings published on April 14, 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, provides the strongest evidence that a diet recommended by government for lowering blood pressure can actually save people from heart attack and stroke.

The plan, known as “DASH” diet (stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), favors fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and plant-based protein over meat. DASH diet is available free on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site at the following web page:

You can also download a copy from the following address:

The study was funded with NIH grants. This kind of diet has been shown by previous research that it could help prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol that both could lead to heart attacks.

About 15,000 women in the study had diets that were quite similar to the low blood pressure diet. They ate about twice as many fruits, vegetables and grains as the estimated 18,000 women whose diets more closely resembled typical American eating habits. The former were 24 percent less likely to have heart attack and 18 percent less likely to have a stroke than the latter. Women in the study were in their mid-30s to late 50s when the research began in 1980.

Most people have the idea that since I do not have high blood pressure, so I do not have to follow the diet plan. The results clearly indicated that even healthy people should stick to the plan. In fact, heart attacks and strokes are very common diseases; about 2 in 5 US women at the age of 50 would eventually develop cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes.

Many patients would rather take a pill than adjust their eating habits. However, as indicated by one medical doctor, ‘If you can make changes in the diet, you might keep away from medication in the long run.’

In the eyes of some health experts, the study was rather limited because instead of randomly assigning equal groups of women different diet and comparing results, the study merely tracked the women and their habits for 24 years. Nevertheless, the study provides the best evidence of important long-term benefits from a low blood pressure diet.

Although the study followed only women, it is felt that men would probably get similar benefits from such approach.



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