Nutrition for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Mellitus: This Discussion Board topic focuses on the relationship between nutrition and cardiovascular disease (most notably hypertension), and between nutrition and diabetes. As a nurse, you may be providing care to clients who are at risk or have already been diagnosed with Cardiovascular Disease and/or Diabetes Mellitus. These clients may be on a DASH Diet and/or on a low carbohydrate diet, and you may have to teach the client which foods are permitted on each of these meal plans.

Dudek addresses recommendations of the DASH diet and gives a general listing of the food groups that should be encouraged, and those that should be reduced in the diet. The text also addresses carbohydrate counting as a way of managing diabetes, and identifies “starchy” and “watery” sources of carbohydrates in Chapter 2. Understanding the role nutrition plays in each of these disease processes, list those foods you would ask the client to limit/restrict for the DASH Diet; list sources of carbohydrates you would ask the client limit/restrict in their diet and state why you believe the foods you have identified should be limited/restricted

DASH Diet-Dietary approaches to stop hypertension. DASH diet is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein; it is also low in sodium and all of this together lowers blood pressure in hypertensive clients. On this diet the client should restrict/limit: fat, red meat, sweets, and sugar sweetened beverages, because a low intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, total fat, and extra sugars significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressures as well as cholesterol. Also this client should limit/restrict sodium rich foods. To control blood pressure this client should be limiting sodium intake to 1500 mg/day.

Here are some tips to lower sodium intake: eat more fruits and vegetables, avoid frozen dinners, and canned foods; use cheese sparingly; choose nut butters with no sodium added; cook rice and pasta without salt; instead of salt, season food with spices, herbs, lemon, vinegar, or salt-free seasonings; choose unsalted varieties of foods if possible and if not look at labels and choose the lowest amount of sodium possible. The client who is on low carbohydrate diet should avoid foods with high glycemic index. These foods are: white bread, white pasta, snack foods, most baked goods, candies, non-diet soda.