High Blood Pressure
Nearly a third of us have high blood pressure. Another third have prehypertension, a condition where your blood pressure is higher than normal but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as hypertension. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, you can lower your blood pressure by eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet consists of lean protein, whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits and vegetables and a decrease in Sodium.
Salt and Sodium are villains when it comes to living with high blood pressure and heart disease. More than 75 % of the sodium you eat in a day comes from packaged foods, not what you add with a saltshaker. Some of the saltiest sources of packaged foods include deli meat, frozen pizza, fruit and vegetable juices, canned soup, canned or bottled tomato products.
Excessive sugar intake leads to increased weight gain and obesity. High blood pressure is more common in people who are overweight or obese.
Saturated and trans fats are also culprits. Consuming saturated and trans fats increases your LDL… your bad cholesterol. High LDL levels may worsen your hypertension and may eventually lead to coronary heart disease.
When it comes to high blood pressure, alcohol is a kind of double edged sword. Small to moderate amounts of alcohol can actually lower your blood pressure. Drinking in excess can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Alcohol can also prevent your blood pressure medications from working effectively.
Making some easy food swaps can help you cut back on the bad foods. Look for reduced sodium or trans fat free options. It’s not about depriving yourself…it’s about eating smart and healthy. 🙂
Diet Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy. These foods are high in key nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein.
- Grains: 7-8 daily servings
- Vegetables: 4-5 daily servings
- Fruits: 4-5 daily servings
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings
- Lean meat, poultry, and fish: 2 or fewer servings a day
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: 4-5 servings per week
- Fats and oils: 2-3 daily servings
- Sweets: less than 5 servings per week.
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