Preface For the first time a practical diet has been created that harnesses the blood-pressure-lowering potential of healthful foods. This diet works because it contains the amounts and combinations of key nutrients needed to lower blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure as much as most prescription blood pressure medications, and it works for men and women, whitesand blacks, young and old. It is named the DASH diet after the landmark study, called "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension," that proved it lowered blood pressure to a much healthier level within 14 days. The name of the diet also hints at its speed, because it is fast-acting as well as effective.So confident are we that the DASH diet can improve your blood pressure that at the very beginning of this book we issue a "14-day challenge": we challenge you to spend two weeks eating the DASH diet -- hearty meals of familiar, common foods with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products in a prescribed combination of servings -- so you can see at the end of that time how your blood pressure has improved significantly. When you see how much it has improved, we believe you will want to continue the DASH diet for the rest of your life.If you have been taking blood pressure medication, your doctor may eventually be able to take you off it if you're willing to remain on the DASH diet. Of course, under no circumstances should you go off your blood pressure medication without clearance from your health-care professional.The DASH diet was developed for people who have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), but there is a strong argument to be made thateveryoneshould eat the DASH way. Blood pressure naturally goes up as you age, and the likelihood is that if you live long enough, you will eventually develop this condition (half of Americans over 65 years old have high blood pressure). Following the DASH diet enables you to halt this process.The DASH diet is simple, but at first it may not seem easy. It involves changing eating habits you've learned over a lifetime. But the fact is that it's do-able, and in this book we provide you with all the information you need to follow the DASH way of eating. With the DASH diet you won't need a calculator every time you prepare a meal. It is based on easy-to-understand servings of whole foods, not x milligrams of this nutrient or y grams of that mineral. Simply put, we did the hard work for you.Our focus is on nutrient-rich whole foods, instead of the nutrients themselves, making our diet available to everyone. This is not a diet just for a small group of highly motivated people who are dedicated enough to figure out how to get precise amounts of minerals and other nutrients into their diet.The DASH Diet for Hypertensionnot only provides information on how the diet works but gives you sensible advice on how to make the principles of the plan part of your everyday life. If you want to take us up on our 14-day challenge, you can turn first to chapter 9, where daily menu plans will make it easy for you to start immediately on the DASH diet.In the second half of the book, to demonstrate that healthy eating can be not just nutritious but delicious too, we have also provided 62 recipes created by our experienced nutritionists. All our recipes were taste-tested to make sure the ones we chose for this book are the very best.Concluding the book are a number of practical resources, including a form to help you keep track of what and how much you eat. One of our goals when developing this diet was to make it easy to follow, and that includes the language we use to explain it. For those interested in more academic accounts of the DASH diet, a reading list of scientific journal articles can be found in Appendix D.By selecting this book, you've taken a major step toward improving your health. Not only does the DASH diet treat and prevent high bloodMoore, Thomas is the author of 'Dash Diet for Hypertension Lower Your Blood Pressure in 14 Days--Without Drugs' with ISBN 9780743410076 and ISBN 0743410076.