Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Sunday Book Review, November 20, 2011: The DASH Diet for Hypertension

What "other way" do you think the doctor will recommend to take care of high blood pressure? It should be remembered that lowering salt intake is only one way that is recommended to help control high blood pressure. Other aspects of the diet, such as eating lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, along with plenty of exercise, stress-relief, and possibly even weight loss, should also be considered. When those things are not enough, or when the patient is not motivated enough to do those things, the next thing a doctor will consider (at least, in my experience) is medications. Personally, I've always believed that if it can be resolved without medication and all the side effects that go along with the meds, so much the better.

I have a friend who, with her husband, served a mission to Africa. While there she lost weight and her blood pressure went down to normal levels. She attributed it to the change in her diet, although I'm sure the increased walking must have helped as well.

Low sodium diet, healthy diet, exercise, stress relief, and, when needed, medication. I bet that's what the doctor will order.
 Dear Ellen,

Thanks for commenting extensively on high blood pressure and its likely causes and possible treatments.

You have confirmed again Madame L's original statement that "other causes, including genetics, obesity, lack of exercise, and other dietary factors" can all contribute to high blood pressure. 

Madame L's personal and family experience with high blood pressure led her to read and follow the advice given in "The DASH Diet for Hypertension," by Thomas Moore and Marc Jenkins (available in new paperback at for $10.20).
This book is "prescribed" by many doctors for their patients with hypertension, and it recommends the same actions you list: a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk products and low in beef and pork; plenty of exercise; stress relief; and weight loss.
The book includes recipes and menu plans as well as the scientific and medical background one needs to appreciate the seriousness of hypertension. It beats all the other "diet" books Madame L has ever read (which is more than a few). 
Madame L recommends the DASH diet for anyone, not just those who have high blood pressure. Following the advice in this book will make you feel better in every way.
As always, Madame L will be happy to loan her own copy of the book to anyone who requests it. Just email her at [ellemadame (at)]. 

Best wishes,

Madame L 

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

Until few years ago, I had no idea how destructive high blood pressure is. It literally leads to crystals forming in your artery walls. You don't begin to see symptoms until the damage is far advanced. Hypertension is NOT to be taken lightly.