Duke University Study Examines African Americans’ Adherence to the DASH Diet

Researchers at Duke University have found that African Americans are less likely than Whites to adopt or adhere to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, a program aimed at preventing and managing high blood pressure. The diet includes high portions of fruits and vegetables as well as low-fat dairy products. The DASH diet is low in fat and cholesterol.

Researchers found that African Americans were less likely than Whites to eat the recommended foods. James A. Blumenthal, professor of behavioral medicine in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Duke University Medical Center, stated, “We need to be aware of cultural differences in dietary preferences in order to help people better adopt a DASH-friendly diet. It is important to take into account traditional food choices and cooking practices when attempting to incorporate more DASH foods into daily meal plans.”

The authors of the study, which was published on the website of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, conclude that African Americans may be more likely to follow DASH dietary guidelines if traditional recipes were modified to include more healthy ingredients rather than eliminating certain food choices altogether.

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