Substitute Lean Pork for Chicken or Fish to Lower Blood Pressure

Health Professional

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a diet plan you can follow to lower blood pressure levels. This approach promotes a diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.

The DASH diet includes lean, unprocessed meats in appropriate serving sizes, with two or fewer servings consumed daily. One serving of meat equals three ounces. For a visual, three ounces is about the size of a deck of cards.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the impact of lean, unprocessed pork consumption with chicken and fish as dominant protein sources within this diet plan. Researchers determined lean pork could effectively be incorporated into a DASH-style diet promoting lower blood pressure.

This only applies to unprocessed lean pork, such as tenderloins or uncured ham with visible fat trimmed. Research does NOT support adding other cuts or types of pork products that are higher in fat and salt to a DASH diet promoting low blood pressure.

All meat selected when following a DASH-style diet should be lean, with visible fat removed. Skin should be removed from poultry and preferred cooking methods include broil, roast, or poach.

Lean cuts of meat contain 10 or fewer grams of total fat and less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat per a 100 gram serving. A 100 gram serving is equal ~3-4 ounces of meat. There are many cuts of red meat, pork, chicken, and fish that meat this criteria to allow you adequate variety when follow the DASH diet.

Keep in mind all meals do not need to include meat for your protein source. Experiment with meat-free options as alternate ways to promote heart health and lower blood pressure.

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