High blood pressure or Hypertension is a malady many people suffer from. The optimum level of blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg and blood pressure even slightly over this level is considered as a sign of unhealthy state. Higher your blood pressure above normal, the greater is the risk to your health. It is known that diet does influence conditions of hypertension and certain diet plans can help in lowering the elevated blood pressure. This dietary approach to controlling hypertension is called “DASH”, short for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. Is It Really Effective Studies, supported by NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), were conducted to evaluate effects of nutrients, as they occur together in food, on blood pressure. This study was the basis for DASH. The study showed that a diet which was low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol and rich in low-fat dairy products, vegetables and fruits dramatically reduced the elevated blood pressures. Incidentally this diet is rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as fiber and protein. In the clinical tests, the DASH diet, which is rich in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods but low in amounts of saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol, brought down systolic blood pressure on an average by about 6 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure by about 3 mm Hg. In case of patients with high blood pressure the diet worked even better --11 mm Hg drop in the systolic and about 6 mm Hg in the diastolic. Significantly these reductions came about within 2 weeks of starting the DASH diet! What Is Permittd In DASH The DASH diet plan is rich in many nutrients. It is beneficial not only in condition of high blood pressure but for general good health also. If you follow the recommended 2000 calories a day diet plan, your body will be getting 500 mg of magnesium, 1240 mg of calcium and 4700 mg of potassium; these amounts are 200% to 300% of what most Americans get in their normal diet. Relation between high blood pressure and being overweight has been known for long. It is quite natural, therefore, to find that the diet suggested for reducing blood pressure has shades of a diet normally associated with natural cure for weight loss. Many components of the DASH diet plan such as low saturated fat, total fat and use of a large amount of low-fat dairy products, vegetables and fruits which include fiber and proteins are similar to a natural weight loss diet plan. The DASH plan gives detailed diet plans corresponding to different levels of calorie intake intended. It is quite easy to adapt the DASH plan for weight loss or fast weight loss by selecting the suggested DASH diet for calorie intake which is less than what one is already taking. Please note, however, that if you are taking medication for high blood pressure condition, do not stop the therapeutic treatment you are receiving when you start on DASH diet plan; consult your physician about the drug treatment.