Purdue University researchers found that when adults ate lean pork instead of the typical chicken and fish as their main protein source in the health-promoting DASH diet they had the same blood pressure benefits regardless of protein source — with systolic blood pressure decreasing around seven to eight points and diastolic around four to five points after six weeks based on a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring system.
"Many Americans enjoy red meat so the recommendation to limit red meat in the typical DASH diet could be a potential barrier to adapting this eating plan.
Swapping in lean pork could help more people follow this healthful eating plan," said nutrition science professor Wayne Campbell, lead author of the study at Purdue University.
The DASH diet, one of the best-studied eating approaches, has been recognized by government and health organizations as an eating pattern that can improve health and help lower the risk of chronic diseases.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently included research showing the DASH Diet may have favorable effects on cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease in addition to helping lower blood pressure which impacts nearly 30 percent of Americans.