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Research: Exercise Plus DASH Diet Lowers Blood Pressure More

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The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can effectively reduce high blood pressure. Adhering to an exercise and weight loss program along with the DASH diet may lower blood pressure and cardiovascular markers even further, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Volume 170, page 126). 

The study: Researchers randomized 144 overweight or obese adults with high blood pressure into three groups: DASH diet alone, DASH diet plus an exercise program and sessions about weight loss techniques and a control group. Clinicians measured blood pressure and cardiovascular markers before and after the four-month study period.

Among participants in the DASH plus exercise group, systolic blood pressure improved by 16 mm Hg while those following the diet alone improved by only 11 mm Hg. The control group had a 3 mm Hg improvement. The DASH plus exercise group also lost significantly more weight -- approximately 19 lbs -- while the DASH and control groups lost little weight or gained weight. Both DASH diet groups showed less artery stiffness than the control group.

Take-away: If you have high blood pressure and are also overweight, talk to your doctor about how the DASH diet and exercise can benefit your health.  

Posted in Nutrition and Weight Control on November 30, 2011


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