HCA West Florida Division - January 02, 2018

According to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting, a combination of reduced sodium intake and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) lowers blood pressure in adults with hypertension.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating a DASH diet is the one recommended for people interested in not only controlling their blood pressure, but recent studies showed that the DASH diet may help fight diabetes and also help lower the risk of painful kidney stones.

* While both low-sodium and DASH diets have been reported to help lower high blood pressure, these studies examine the effects of combining the two diets in adults with high blood pressure.

How does the DASH Diet help fight diabetes?

Studies conducted by the American Heart Association demonstrated that adding probiotic-packed foods to the DASH diet may improve fasting blood sugar and A1C levels in hypertensives.

Reductions in both Haemoglobin A1C and in Fasting Blood Sugar were noted in both the control DASH diet group and the probiotic enriched diet intervention group.

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure and 2 in 3 people with diabetes report having high blood pressure or take prescription medications to lower their blood pressure; adopting a nutrition plan that benefits both conditions is a one-two punch.

Some study participants with high blood pressure followed the DASH diet with added probiotics:

  • A 2,000-calorie- a-day DASH plan includes three kinds of whole grains daily in 7-8 servings (some with probiotic granola);
  • 4-5 servings each of fruits and veggies; 2-3 servings of low-fat or nonfat, probiotic-rich yogurt and drinks;
  • 2 or fewer servings of meat and poultry;
  • 4-5 of nuts, seeds and legumes weekly; and
  • Limited fats

How does the DASH Diet help fight kidney stones?

A kidney stone attack is like no other pain on earth. But a simple choice may help keep you in the clear.

Dash Away Pain

After combining the data from three large long-term studies and reviewing the health and eating habits of over 200,000 adults, researchers found that people whose diets most closely matched the principles of the DASH diet were as much as 45% less likely to develop kidney stones. The DASH diet places emphasis on fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein. Not a bad way to go, regardless of your health goals.

Stopping Stones

It's a bit unclear why eating this way would help prevent a kidney stone attack, because certain fruits, veggies, and nuts contain oxalate -- a chemical compound from which some types of kidney stones are made. But researchers note that eating fruits and veggies increases the level of citrate in your urine as well, which can help stop the formation of calcium stones. Regardless, clear any diet with your doctor if you have a history of kidney stones


Content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition


  1. American Heart Association
  2. American Diabetes Association
  3. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics