Dietary Changes, other than Weight Loss and Exercise, that Can Affect Blood
Q: Other than weight loss and exercise, are there any dietary changes
that can affect blood pressure?
Dr. McCann: The effect of salt on blood pressure has been
debated for decades, but new research firmly supports the importance of a low
salt diet in controlling blood pressure. In a study published in January 2001
in the New England Journal of Medicine, additional blood pressure lowering was
achieved using the "DASH" diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) emphasizing
fruit, whole grains, very little red meat or sugar, and low fat dairy products.
Participants on both the Dash diet and a low salt diet did as well as people
treated with blood pressure lowering medications. The long term results of this
diet are not yet known.
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Dr. McCann is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, and completed
her residency at NYU/Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She received an Armed
Forces Scholarship and served with the U.S. Navy for nine years, during which
she completed her training in Cardiology and rose to the rank of Commander.
She has served as the ICU Director at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital at Camp
Pendleton, California and the CCU Director at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda
MD. Dr. McCann has published articles in the area of women's health and cardiac
disease and is a frequent lecturer on these topics.
Created: 1/22/2001  - Dr. McCann