By making some simple changes to your diet you can help reduce high blood pressure. In addition to the changes outlined here it isalso important that you reduce the amount of salt in your diet.
Always check with your doctor before implementing changes.
DASH diet for high blood pressure
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet for people with high blood pressure promotes increasing the intake of potassium and calcium in your diet by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Meat portions are limited, and nuts provide magnesium and additional fibre. Saturated fat intake is limited to less than seven per cent of total calories, and cholesterol to less than 200 mg per day. Sugar and sweets can be eaten only sparingly.
Benefits of DASH
DASH diet is able to reduce your diastolic blood pressure (the lower measurement of blood pressure, taken between heartbeats when the heart is relaxed) by up to 5 mmHg, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, or initial blood pressure levels. For those with high blood pressure that ranged from 140/90 to 159/99 mmHg, the DASH diet's effectiveness was similar to that of medication for high blood pressure.
|SERVING SIZES AND SUGGESTIONS
Breads, pasta, rice,
- 1 slice wholemeal bread
- 50g raw leafy vegetables
- 120ml fruit juice
- 1 medium fruit
- 75g fresh, dried, frozen, or canned fruit
Reduced or low-fat
- 225ml milk
- 225ml yogurt
- 40g cheese
2 or fewer
- 100g cooked lean meat,
poultry, or fish
|Fats and oils
- 1 tsp soft margarin
- 1 tbsp rediced fat mayonnasise
- 2 tbsp low fat salad dressing
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp nuts
- 3 tbsp seeds
- 3-4 tbsp cooked beans
Potassium and calcium
The DASH diet recommends increasing your dietary intake of potassium and calcium. Potassium can be found in all the food groups, fruit and vegetable sources include oranges, pears, acorn squash, as well as potatoes. Dairy products are excellent sources too, as red meat, poultry, and pulses. Dairy products are rich in calcium as are green leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli.
People who drink large amounts of alcohol are more likely to develop high blood pressure, whereas small amounts of alcohol raise HDL-cholesterol levels and are beneficial cor cardiovascular health. Larger amounts of alcohol cause blood vessels to constrict or narrow, forcing the heart to pump harder. Alcohol can thus raise your blood pressure and make your high blood pressure more difficult to manage.
Dietary advice for heart failure
Many people with heart failure tend to lose weight and become undernourished because they follow restrictive diets and may not get enough calories. They need to work with their doctor to find a way of reducing their sodium intake and limiting their fluid intake. They should also try to maintain or increase body weight with high-calorie, nutrient dense foods and food supplements.
Reduce sodium intake
People with heart failure retain sodium and fluid, so restricting sodium (salt) in the diet is usually necessary. The level of sodium restrictionvaries depending on the severity of the condition. Those with long-term heart failure with symptoms such as shortness of breath should aim to reduce their dietary intake of sodium to less than 2000 mg per day. If you suffer from heart failure you must do more than just "stay away from salt". You must check food labels for sodium content, select only foods with less than 400 mg per serving, and use herbs and other non salt seasonings when cooking.
Tips for cutting down sodium:
People who suffer from heart failure and those with high blood pressure should follow a low salt diet. Reducing sodium has been proved to be one of the best ways to lowering high blood pressure. Convenience foods, ready meats, and canned foods, as well as eating out frequently, all contribute to a higher sodium intake, so if you are following a low sodium diet read labels careful.
- Avoid using salt at the table
- Use fresh or dried herbs and spices, such as cinnamon and cumin to flavour vegetables
- Buy fresh or frozen vegetables or those canned without last.
- Use soy source sparingly: 1tsp. contain about 1200 mg of sodium.
- Rinse canned foods, such as beans, to remove excess salt.
- Buy low or reduced sodium or no salt added versions of food.
- Choose breakfast cereals that are lower in sodium.
Maintain a healthy weight
It is important to maintain an adequate calorie intake to prevent weight loss. If you have already lost weight due to loss of appetite, you may need to take in more calories. Having small, frequent, nutrient-dense and high calorie meals may help you meat your caloric needs.
Limit fluid intake
People who have heart failure may be advised by their doctor to limit fluid intake to six to eight glasses per day, which is about 1.5-2 liters. Fluids may be restricted slightly more than this for patients in hospital.
Take food supplements
High protein, high calorie supplements can help to increase calorie intake in a relatively small volume, and they are especially useful for people who have a poor appetite. The supplements are available in a variety of flavours. Note though that supplements should only be taken on the advice of your doctor or state-registered dietitian.
By lowering dietary salt by three grams per day, the researchers projected the following benefits for health care in the United States:
- 44-63 percent, or 380,000-550,000, fewer hypertensive young people aged 12-24 years
- 30-43 percent, or 2,700,000–3,900,000, fewer hypertensive adults aged 35-50 years
- 7-12 percent, or 120,000-210,000, fewer incidents of coronary heart disease
- 8-14 percent, or 36,000-64,000, fewer heart attacks
- 5-8 percent, or 16,000-28,000, fewer strokes
Disclaimer: This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisible to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.