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The role of diet for prevention and management of hypertension

Ozemek, Cemala; Laddu, Deepika, R.a; Arena, Rossa; Lavie, Carl, J.b

Current Opinion in Cardiology: July 2018 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 388–393
doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000532
HYPERTENSION: Edited by Hector O. Ventura and Carl J. Lavie

Purpose of review Regular consumption of a diet high in sodium, energy dense foods, fat content, refined carbohydrates, added sugar and low in fruits and vegetables contributes to an increased risk of developing hypertension (HTN) and cardiovascular disease. This review aims to provide a synopsis of evidence-based dietary approaches that have been effective in lowering blood pressure (BP) in pre-HTN and individuals with HTN.

Recent findings Recent dietary recommendations have emphasized overall dietary patterns and its relation between food and BP. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and modifications to the DASH diet, coupled with reductions in sodium intake, show dose-dependent decreases in BP. Implementation of digital lifestyle interventions based on the DASH diet have been effective and show potential for clinical application.

Summary Adopting a diet rich in plant-based foods, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and sodium intake within normal limits can be effective in the prevention and management of HTN. These diets have been found to be more effective in older adults and hypertensive persons, particularly in studies that provided meals or frequent dietary counseling.

aDepartment of Physical Therapy and the Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

bDepartment of Cardiovascular Diseases, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School-University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, Los Angeles, USA

Correspondence to Cemal Ozemek, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, 1640 W Roosevelt Rd (MC 887), Chicago, IL 60608, USA. Tel: +1 312 355 3996; fax: +1 312 413 8333; e-mail:

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