Carb Counters - Hypertension, DASH, and low carb

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05-13-2011, 02:43 PM

So I knew I had borderline high blood pressure. Today- diagnosed with hypertension. Boo.

I've lost a lot of weight, I've been eating a paleo diet- fairly low sodium... I've run half marathons and taken yoga classes and was feeling like I was doing everything I could to make this go away naturally.

The doctor prescribed some meds, and suggested the DASH diet. But I still need to lose weight. And I know I do that best on a low carb diet. South Beach worked well, Paleo worked great...

Do you have any suggestions? Can the DASH diet be transformed into a low carb diet? I need some help and support. I don't want to have high blood pressure.

Anyone have any resources they can share with me?

05-23-2011, 05:02 PM
Does HBP run in your family?

Hypertension is what really kicked my butt into working out and losing weight. My doctor put me on the South Beach diet which is what I follow but I also count calories.

I have been taking 2 meds a day for 3 years and still did not have normal bp. Was taken to the emergency room with 248/150 BP a year ago. Scared the bejeezus out of me.

Since doing SouthBeach / exercising/ losing about 30 lbs so far, my BP was 120/78 last week at the doctor. The best it's been in years. I told him my goal for this year was to lose 50lbs and get off bp medicine... he said it may not be a posibility, no matter how fit I get due to family history.

According to his philosophy, the biggest culprit for sodium is processed foods. I just don't eat them anymore, but he doesn't feel like I need to cut out all salt.

Sorry for the long post and not sure if that helps, but low carb and whole foods have made a world of difference for me. I don't even look at sodium much anymore.

05-23-2011, 06:48 PM
The DASH plan is an exchange plan with specific guidelines (for example, how often to eat fish and nuts). Like all exchange plans, it's quite adaptable to weight loss.

Doctors are more likely to be familiar with DASH than Paleo, but the two diets are so compatible (in my opinion) that you could do one or the other or both with no problem.

I use a low-carb exchange plan, but I try to make Paleo-friendly foods for those exchanges. DASH guidelines (as I remember them) are relatively paleo-friendly, with some minor and a few major exceptions. The main disagreement (that stands out in my memory, it's been a while since I've read the DASH guidelines) is over the appropriate proportion of carbs to protein and DASH's focus on whole grains and beans (non-Paleo foods).

The thing I love best about exchange plan dieting, is that they're adaptable to any style of eating. I can "translate" almost any diet into an exchange plan. So if I learn something new (either in the science or in observing my own body) I can adapt it to my exchange plan. In losing my current 90 lbs, I've used exchange plans modeled after different diet plans including the old Weight Watchers (pre-1997), the Duke Diet, South Beach, Atkins, and Paleo- style. As my needs or beliefs change, I can quickly adapt rather than overhaul my diet.

I'm familiar with DASH only because I collect exchange plan cookbooks.

DASH is a little different than other exchange plans (but not by much).

Most exchange plan cookbooks can be used interchangeably, but DASH is a little different in that DASH uses an additional exchange group (the nut exchange, a DASH nut exchange I believe is equivalent to two or three fat exchanges on standard exchange plans) and DASH also counts the protein exchanges a little differently (I believe 1 DASH protein exchange is equal to 3 standard protein exchanges).