A healthy lifestyle is important in CVD prevention and treatment through effects on modifiable CVD risk factors, particularly blood pressure. Although the major drawback is the low level of adherence over time, appropriate lifestyle changes may safely and effectively prevent and treat hypertension. The recommended dietary approaches that have been shown to be capable of reducing blood pressure are: salt restriction, moderation of alcohol consumption, high consumption of vegetables and fruits and low-fat and other types of diet, and weight reduction. There is strong and consistent clinical trial evidence that reducing salt intake to about 5 g/day has a modest (1–2 mmHg) SBP-lowering effect in normotensive individuals and a somewhat more pronounced effect (4–5 mmHg) in hypertensive individuals. Compared with salt restriction alone, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet resulted in the greater reduction in blood pressure. The dietary pattern's effect on blood pressure is independent of changes in weight and sodium intake.
Dietary pattern such as the DASH dietary pattern, the USDA Food Pattern, or the AHA Diet are higher in fruits (particularly fresh), vegetables (emphasizing root and green varieties), whole grains (cereals, breads, rice, or pasta), and fatty fish (rich in omega–3 fatty acids); lower in red meat (and emphasizing lean meats); substituted lower-fat or fat-free dairy products for higher-fat dairy foods; and used oils (olive or canola), nuts (walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts) or margarines blended with rapeseed or flaxseed oils in lieu of butter and other fats. This dietary pattern should be adopted to appropriate calorie requirements, personal and cultural food preferences, and nutrition therapy for other medical conditions (including diabetes mellitus). In conclusion, most recent dietary approach to prevent and control elevated blood pressure is combination the DASH dietary pattern with lower sodium intake.