American Heart Association

American Heart Association

Issue: January 2018
December 12, 2017
1 min watch

VIDEO: Dietary choices empower patients to control BP levels

Issue: January 2018
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — In this Cardiology Today video perspective, John P. Higgins, MD, MPhil, MBA, FACC, FACP, FAHA, discusses the benefits of the low-sodium DASH diet in light of preliminary results presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

“What was amazing in this study was that in the people that had the highest [systolic] BP — over 150 mm Hg — were able to achieve up to a 20 mm drop in their BP in the individuals that were doing both the low-salt and the DASH diet,” Higgins said.

According to Higgins, the recommended intake of 1,500 mg of sodium per day is less than one tablespoon of salt, and the key to empowering patients to control their own BP is education.

People are consuming too much salt, and changing your diet to include healthier options, such as fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts and avoiding groceries with a long shelf-life, such as canned goods is the key to taking control of BP without the use of medication, Higgins said.

“There’s lot of things you can do [aside from taking medication] to help get your BP under control, which is going to put you in a lower risk category for subsequent heart disease, stroke, etc,” he said. “This is a really, really good step forward and a healthy alternative way that people and physicians can achieve their goals.”


Juraschek SP, et al. Presentation 137. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 11-15, 2017; Anaheim, California.