DASH diet can lower heart failure risk

Reduce your risk of heart failure by adhering to the DASH diet.

Diet can lower heart failure risk

New research has found that people under 75 can reduce their risk of heart failure by adhering to a diet that had been recommended for people with high blood pressure.

The results, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that participants aged under 75 in the group with the highest adherence to the diet had a heart failure incidence rate that was 40 per cent lower than those in the lowest compliance group.

The study of almost 4500 people aged between 45 and 84 with no history of cardiovascular disease was started in 2000. Participants were asked 120 questions about their dietary habits and split into five groups based on eating habits.

The goal was to control hypertension – or high blood pressure – in participants who had no history of cardiovascular disease.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat diary foods, fish, poultry, nuts and beans. It is limited in red meat, salt, added fats and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages. It is very similar to the Mediterranean diet but differs in recommending low-fat dairy products and excluding alcohol.

“This research provides a framework for further exploration of the DASH diet as an effective element in the primary prevention of heart failure,” said lead author and associate professor of general internal medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine in the United States, Claudia Campos.

“Heart failure is a frequent cause of hospitalisation in older adults and is associated with substantial healthcare costs, so identifying modifiable risk factors for heart failure is an important public health goal. This research provides a framework for further exploration of the DASH diet as an effective element in the primary prevention of heart failure.”

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) says the DASH diet had been rated the best diet for overall health and wellness for five years in a row and it offers specific guidelines on types of food and serving sizes.

Do you have high blood pressure? How have you tried to lower your blood pressure?


    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


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    Ted Wards
    14th May 2019
    Yes after losing 46 kilos and getting extremely fit and living on a very similar diet I woke up one morning with what turned out to be a migrane and was then diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol. The good news was that my visceral fat was within the safe range (between 1 - 12, mine was 8.5).
    What these diets do is to turn your system from acidic to alkaline which studies show that illness and disease cannot thrive in an alkaline system. However to achieve this you have to eliminate all fats, dairy and red meats, caffeine and alcohol. Anything that's been processed or altered in any way is actually detrimental to your health...which rules out almost everything unless you have access to organic foods or grow your own. It is doable but very taxing and can be expensive. How much is your health worth I guess is the question to be asked?
    14th May 2019
    I agree Ted health is worth everything, why people just don't take care of themselves is beyond me.
    14th May 2019
    That's funny. Didn't they change their minds about low fat food saying you were better off with full fat. After all, some fats are essential for good health. Just asking the question.
    14th May 2019
    Yes but mainly where the fat is replaced with sugar for example in low fat yogurt. Given the similarities between the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diets, the small differences are not worth worrying about.
    14th May 2019
    Low fat means not eating it in the first place, just eat a few nuts per day, some avocado or seeds or seed paste like tahini is enough, we need very little fat, especially as you get older, fat accumulates in your organs and causes all sorts of problems.
    KSS as mentioned in the article the difference in the two diets was alcohol, no alcohol is best.
    14th May 2019
    With normal - in fact on the lowish side - I ended up with heart failure. Because of the symptoms I didn't have vs. the ones I did have it took 6 months to diagnose. After much investigation it was decided that I had contracted a virus and that was the cause of it. So we all don't fit into the same category.
    14th May 2019
    That's normal blood pressure!
    14th May 2019
    If you are really serious about eating healthy I suggest using the modern Pritikin approach - note I did not say diet, because using Pritikin involves a lifestyle change as well as healthy low fat low sugar eating. Its not much different to the diet recommended by the Heart Foundation, just a little stricter with regard to fats, sugars, alcohol and of course smoking. If you smoke, no dietary changes will really reduce you risk of heart attack/stroke.
    14th May 2019
    Even better is a low fat wholefood plant based diet, there are many people who have amazing stories of recovery on forksoverknives.com. Too many people are just not eating enough fruit and veggies for a start which means you lack nutrients. Too much salt too, we need very little only about 1/4 of a teaspoon per day. Don't be fooled by the statement of good healthy fats, it is still fat and we need very little, just a few nuts per day, half an avocado, or some seeds, or seed paste like tahini. But alcohol is one of the worst for high blood pressure.
    15th May 2019
    Processed, pre/par-cooked food is lethal and the supermarkets are full of it. Also, there is the 'eat out' trend. Then there is the problem of eating on the run and second, but probably more important, the lack of face to face REAL interaction and socialising.

    Just a few but a lot of factors come together to contribute to a sick body and sick community.

    A recent theme in research is the lack of variety in foods eaten. Even where the diet is otherwise healthy, limited variety (and they were talking about eleven different foods a day minimum) is likely to result in less than optimal health and early disease.

    I suggest the way head is to encourage people to do small steps where they can and add as they go along. For example, rather than go all out for exercise just take atairs where available and see where things go from there. With food, certainly get variety FIRST and foremost and make that choice whole foods as you say.

    You comment on alcohol reminded me that we should be saying more about the epidemic of liver ill-health - devastating, for example in GB. The smallest amount of alcohol, in fact any alcohol, is toxic to the liver. So if people might just substitute the low alcohol and more often drink something else instead.

    As a thought, what about a map with red, yellow and green for the supermarket shelve?. There are whole isles that should never be visited and what a boon that is for cheaper, quicker shopping?
    15th May 2019
    Spot on LJ, there is enough evidence already but getting people to take notice is harder. Fancy the Government now having to put ads on TV to tell people to eat more veggies and fruits, crazy times. Variety is a good point too, we all seem to stick to our favorites.

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