Nearly one in three Americans has high blood pressure or hypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle changes, including diet, are an important part of any plan to achieve and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan includes two to three daily servings of dairy foods and eight to 10 daily servings of fruits and vegetable, and is recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association to prevent and control high blood pressure.
Dairy foods are an integral part of DASH because they contain a trio of minerals – calcium, potassium and magnesium – that play an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. You may be surprised to learn that milk is the No. 1 single food source of potassium in the United States. Americans who enjoy three servings of dairy every day have significantly higher intakes of potassium compared to those who do not.
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