If you want to improve your heart health, what’s the biggest factor to reduce your heart disease risk? Keep reading to find out.
According to a recent study presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2022, the DASH diet may have the biggest impact on young and middle-aged adults with hypertension stage 1. Having hypertension stage 1 means having a reading of 130-139/90-89 mm Hg.
According to the research, adopting the DASH diet may help prevent an estimated 15,000 heart disease events in men and 11,000 in women. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) specifically focuses on managing blood pressure. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean meat, nuts, seeds, and grains while limiting sodium, red meat, and sugars.
Making Lifestyle Changes
According to researchers, about 8.8 million adults in the U.S. have untreated hypertension stage 1. Since this stage is considered low risk for heart attack or stroke compared to stage 2 and beyond, the primary treatment focuses on lifestyle changes.
“Nearly nine million young and middle-aged adults with untreated stage 1 hypertension represent a significant, impending burden for health care systems,” explains co-lead researcher of the study Kendra D. Sims, Ph.D., M.P.H., a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. “Our results provide strong evidence that large-scale, healthy behavior modifications may prevent future heart disease, related complications, and excess health care costs.”
Their results show that by making dietary and lifestyle changes, about 26,000 cardiovascular events could be prevented as well as 2,900 deaths. However, current societal conditions may not make it easy to follow the DASH diet.
DASH Diet and Your Health
“Unfortunately, the availability and affordability of healthy food sources does not easily allow people to follow the DASH diet,” says Sim. “Clinicians should consider whether their patients live in food deserts or places with limited walkability. Health counseling should include addressing these specific challenges to blood pressure control.”
“Members of many disadvantaged communities face barriers to healthy food and regular health care access. This means they will not be able to benefit from [counseling] from a doctor. Future research should investigate the big picture: social conditions granting people the time and resources to make healthy lifestyle choices. Only with this information can we develop policies for the prevention of heart disease, especially for vulnerable adults.”
Improving Blood Pressure
Following the DASH Diet may be a challenge depending on your individual circumstance. However, if you want to improve your health, then making lifestyle changes is the way to go. Make a plan that focuses on exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Even if you can’t adopt the DASH diet right away doesn’t mean you can’t make gradual changes that allow you to eat healthier as time goes on.
In addition, you can take supplements like L-arginine Plus to give you an extra boost. Its ingredients promote circulation, blood pressure, and overall heart health. If you’re ready to support your heart health, then adopt a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take L-arginine Plus.