Table 4.

The effect of nonpharmacologic approaches to manage hypertension

ModificationDescriptionSystolic BP Reduction
Weight reductionTo attain normal weight (i.e., BMI<25)5–20 mmHg/10-kg weight loss
DASH DietRich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, reduced saturated and total fat, and reduced sodium8–14 mmHg
Reduced dietary sodiumTo 65–100 mmol/d (1.5–2.4 g Na+ or 3.8–6 g NaCl)2–8 mmHg
Increased physical activityRegular aerobic exercise 30 min/d most days of week4–9 mmHg
Moderate alcohol intakeLimit to ≤2 drinksa per day for men and ≤1 drink per day for women and those with lighter weight2–4 mmHg
Increased potassium intake120 mmol/d (4.7 g/d; also included in DASH Diet)Variable
Alternative approachesMeditation, yoga, other relaxation therapies, biofeedback, device-guided breathing, and acupunctureVariable up to 2–10 mmHg
  • BMI, body mass index; DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

  • a One drink is equivalent to 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 oz 80-proof liquor, each representing, on average, 14 g ethanol.