When pressure in the blood exceeds 120/80 mm of hg then it is term as high blood pressure. Person suffering from high blood pressure may get several medications to control it, but lifestyle changes can slow down the need for drugs.
Fewer of people are not aware of how many calories they are eating in a day including the portion size. One can cut down the calorie intake and portion to lose weight and manage blood pressure.
Diet plan for high blood pressure
There are certain ways which a person of high blood pressure can follow to control it.
DASH(Dietary approach to stop hypertension)
The DASH diet is a life long approach to healthy eating that is designed to treat high blood pressure or hypertension. In this DASH diet person is encouraged to reduce the sodium intake in their diet and eat healthy foods rich in nutrients and helps in lowering the blood pressure such as potassium,calcium and magnesium. DASH diet is also in line with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis,cancer,stroke and diabetes.
Salt or Sodium
DASH diet emphasizes vegetables ,fruits and low fat dairy foods and moderate amount of whole grains,fish, poultry and nuts.Excess of salt or sodium can cause our body to retain fluid which increases fluid in the body.So lower the consumption of sodium that is 1500 mg of sodium in a day.
Foods which are high in sodium must be avoided:
- Avoid canned foods,processed foods,lunch meat and fast foods.
- Use salt free seasonings.
- use a food dairy to keep track of the salt in the food you eat.
- Read the nutritional facts label on every food package.
- Bakery products.
- Use sodium free spices or flavorings.
- Not adding salt while cooking.
Food for High Blood Pressure Patient
DASH diet include lots of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, whole grains, some fish, poultry, legumes. DASH diet is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat.
Grains 6-8 servings
- Grains include bread, cereals, rice, pasta and others.
- Focus should be on the whole grains because they are rich in high fiber and nutrients.for example use of whole grains bread instead of white bread.
- Grains are naturally low in fat so avoid spreading butter or cream and cheese on it.
Vegetables 4-5 serving in a day
- vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, green leafy vegetables they are full of fiber and minerals like potassium and magnesium.
- Fresh vegetables are good choice but when buying frozen vegetables or canned vegetables read the label and choose those vegetables which are low sodium or with out sodium.
- To increase the number of servings of vegetables and cut the amount of meat in half.
Fruits 4-5 servings in a day
- Like vegetables fruits are also packed with fiber, potassium and magnesium, low in fat, contains vitamin also.
- The peels of apple, pears, and most of the fruits ass texture to your recipes and contains healthy nutrients and fiber.
- Fruits with meals and as a snack form can be chosen.
- If fresh fruits are not available then choose canned fruits but no sugar is added in it.
Dairy 2-3 servings in a day
- Milk,cheese,yogurt and other dairy products are major sources of calcium,vitamin D and protein.Always choose low fat or fat free because they can be major source of saturated fat.
- Cheese is high in sodium so carefully use it.
Lean meat, poultry and fish 6 or fewer servings in a day
- Meat is a rich source of protein,vitamin B,iron and zinc but also contains fat and cholesterol so try to cut down the portion size.
- Trim away skin and fat from poultry and meat then bake ,broil,grill and roast instead of frying in the fat.
- Fish are good sources of omega 3 fatty acid and lower the cholesterol level.
Nuts, seeds and legumes 4-5 serving in a week
- Almonds,sunflower seeds, kidney beans ,peas, lentils they are rich sources of magnesium, potassium and protein.They are full of fibers also.
- Nuts contains healthy fats -Monounsaturated fat and omega 3 fatty acids,so try to add in their salads and cereals.
- Soybean based product are good alternative to meat because they contain all amino acid which your body needs.
Fats and oils 2-3 serving in a day
- Fats helps your body to absorb essential vitamins and necessary for immune system but too much of fat increases heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
- Saturated fat and trans fat increase blood cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart diseases. So use of saturated fat should be cut down like butter, cheese, meat, whole milk, cream eggs.
- Avoid trans fat found in processed foods as crackers, baked foods and fried items.
- Read labels on margarine and salad dressings and choose those which are low in saturated fat or free of trans fat.
Sweets 5 or fewer in a week
- Choose those sweets which are fat free or low fat.
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose may help satisfy your sweet tooth.
DASH diet for alcohol and caffeine
- Drinking or too much of alcohol can increase blood pressure so cut down the consumption of alcohol .
- Caffeine also raises the blood pressure so try to stop using caffeine in the diet.
Regular exercise and any physical activity everyday will lower blood pressure. Exercise like walking, aerobics, cycling, dancing, swimming and jogging.
High blood pressure can be control through diet approach, exercise, lifestyle modification and medications.