DASH Diet Education
Hypertension is a common health problem in Hong Kong as well as the rest of the world. According to the population health survey 2003-2004 carried out by the Hong Kong Department of Health, 27% of the population aged 15 or above has hypertension. The percentage increased to 73% for those aged 75 or above.
The main health hazard lies in the complications of hypertension, namely: stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. With timely treatment of the hypertension, the complications can be prevented or reduced.
Treatment of hypertension include life style changes like stopping smoking, regular exercise and a healthy diet. Medications will be needed if the treatment goal is not reached despite all those measures. It was found that a diet rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium and high in fruits, vegetables & low fat dairy foods, and also rich in fiber and protein can reduced hypertension. The diet should also be high in whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts while being low in fat and red meat content, sweets and sugar-containing drinks. .This diet is called the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The diet will reduce systolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg in patients with normal blood pressure. Those with hypertension dropped by 11 and 6, respectively. In addition to its effect on blood pressure, it is considered a well-balanced approach to eating for the general public. It is now recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an ideal eating plan for all Americans.
If combined with salt (sodium) restriction, the blood pressure lowering effect is much enhanced. This is of much relevance in Hong Kong. The WHO recommended a salt intake of less than 5 gram per day (about one teaspoonful). According to surveys conducted by the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the salt intake in Hong Kong people was much higher and on the rise. In healthy adults, the average salt intake increased from 8.0 g/day during 1989-1991 to 9.4 g/day during 1996-1998 and 9.9 g/day during 2000-2002. Following an increase in dietary salt intake, the kidney normally synthesizes dopamine to inhibit sodium reabsorption and induce relaxation of blood vessels. This renal dopamine response is not seen in Chinese. The study also showed that Chinese are prone to dietary salt-induced hypertension because they lack of an efficient mechanism to facilitate the excretion of salt by the kidney.
The DASH diet is a healthy eating habit for normal people as well as patients with hypertension. However, for patients with kidney failure, they may need to reduce their potassium and phosphate intake and the DASH diet would not be suitable for them.
The Hong Kong Nephrology Group will modify it into Chinese diet and details will be posted up here.
DASH diet Practitioners
The DASH diet is a healthy eating habit. It can prevent hypertension in normal people and will also help in patients with hypertension. DASH diet can be delicious and it is no more expensive than food we take every day.
To promote the DASH diet to the public, members of the Hong Kong Nephrology Group has designed several sets of menus for people in Hong Kong.
DASH Diet Press Conference
In conjunction with the Hong Kong Medical Association, a press conference was held on 23 September, 2011 to alert the public the importance of the DASH Diet.
See our Facebook home page (DASH4HK) for the video clips
The Hypertension Hong Kong Team
For the DASH diet to be effective, it is best to start the eating habit at end early stage. To reach this goal, members of the Hong Kong Nephrology Group formed the Hypertension Hong Kong team to bring the message to the public. The Hong Kong Hypertension Team consists of experienced nurses and they were trained in the DASH diet and the low sodium diet.
The Hypertension Hong Kong Team
The team was trained to carry out the Outreach Program as part of the public education initiative.
The Outreach Program
In conjunction with the Hong Kong Medical Association and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the team carried out an Outreach Program to 5 schools. The response from the students was very good.
Visit our facebook page hypertensionHK for details
DASH menu for Hong Kong Jockey Club members
To promote the DASH diet, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is considering putting up a DASH menu in all of the Club restaurants starting from the end of March this year.
The project is supported by the Hong Kong Medical Association. The diet was reviewed by Dr Ho Chung PIng and the Hypertension Hong Kong Team.
Menu List (Chinese version only)
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