Your Diet And High Blood Pressure


Poor eating habits can contribute substantially to unhealthily high blood pressure levels, especially in your thirties and forties.  Often  blood pressure levels normally increase as part of the aging process, but having a bad diet will magnify the problem.  Your doctor may have you taking anti-hypertensive drugs, but the need to make dietary enhancements (eg. follow a healthy low-fat diet) is always at the top of a doctor’s list of recommendations to minimize or prevent high blood pressure.  You have probably heard the health warnings from your doctor about the threats posed by a poor diet, especially one very high in sodium (salt).

Hypertension, Blood Pressure And Diet

In under developed as well as developed nations, an estimated 20-40 percent of all grownups suffer from unhealthy levels of high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts pressure on the heart triggering atherosclerosis( Thickening of vessels).

Normal blood pressure of an healthy adult at rest, is 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic) or less. High blood pressure levels greater than 120/80 and listed below 140/90 are at pre-hypertensive phase, while levels above 140/90 are considered hypertensive phase. Both pre-hypertensive and hypertensive subjects should create a smart diet plan, develop an exercise routine and make way of life modifications.  These steps are needed to lower or prevent the start of hypertension and to help decrease the risk of heart problem.

Excess Weight Adds To High Blood Pressure

Over weight persons will be having high blood pressure. In addition, roughly 7 out of 10 overweight grownups suffer from high blood pressure.  Sadly, this figure is rising as America gets older, more sedate and fatter.

If you have hypertension and not obese, here are few tips to control your BP.

Choose A Healthy Diet Plan

If your goal is to minimize your blood pressure, your diet needs to be abundant in fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy foods.  You also will want to keep the diet low in saturated and trans-fats. It needs to also be low in cholesterol, high in fiber and somewhat high in protein. The American Heart Association and U.S.government both recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet plan as an excellent diet plan guide to decrease high blood pressure.

Tips To Reduce Salt

It’s common sense that salt intake increases blood pressure. Consuming excessive salt or sodium-rich foods results in a higher intake and retention of fluids.  This causes greater levels of water inside body and the extra volume can over load your system, resulting in high blood pressure.  The excess salt will also put extra strain on the arterioles (capillaries that dilate/constrict to control high blood pressure and blood circulation). Both of these results cause higher blood pressure. The Recommended day-to-day dose for sodium for most people is 2,400 mg.

How can you reduce salt intake? Eat less processed food, and eat more fresh food. Sodium is found naturally in fresh foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, and dairy products, however in much lower amounts than in processed foods (package, bottled or junk food).


Avoid These High Sodium Foods

These foods normally have a high sodium material. In order not to go beyond the RDA, either prevent them altogether, or choose low-sodium varieties.

Sauces: baking soda, barbecue sauce, ketchup, garlic salt, mustard, onion salt, Soy sauce, steak sauce, salad dressing, baking powder, mustard, onion salt, skilled salts like lemon pepper, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizer, and Monosodium glutamate (the dreaded MSG).

Salted Treats: peanuts, pretzels, pork rinds, tortilla chips and corn chips.

Soups: Some canned soups are amazingly high in sodium.

Pickled Food: Olives, sauerkraut, herring, pickles. Pickling uses a lot of salt.

Meats: smoked or processed meats (containing sodium-nitrite) such as bacon, bologna, hotdogs, ham, corned beef, lunch meat, and sausages.   These foods are usually very high in sodium nitrate.

Dairy: The majority of cheese spreads and processed cheeses.

Beverages: Most sodas have sugar and salt.  Sugar free may still have sodium.

Cereals: Many instant cereals (like oatmeal) have high sodium levels.

Boxed Meals:  Most prepared packaged foods have a lot of sodium.  Sometimes it is used as a preservative, sometimes it is high to mask the chemical taste of other preservatives.

Be Smart.  Read The Packaging Labels.

Be picky and choose those foods which identified as low-sodium, very low salt, or salt-free. Examine food labels for words that suggest a high salt content, consisting of: sodium nitrite, salt proprionate, disodium phosphate, and salt sulfate, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium benzoate, salt hydroxide,.

Some Easy Low Salt Tips

Do not use any extra salt when cooking or preparing meals. Cook with more herbs and spices.

Do not have salt on the table while eating. It’s okay to hide the salt.

If you cook with salt, switch to chili, ginger and lemon juice for flavoring.

If you like cured,smoked or processed meats, change to fresh meats.

If you eat ready-to-serve breakfast cereal, pick low-sodium types of cereal.

Rinse prior to eating.  This is especially important if you eat tuna, salmon, sardines, or mackerel canned in water.

If you eat soup, switch to low-sodium or fresh soups.

If you prepare with whole milk or fat diet, switch to 1 percent or skimmed buttermilk.

Keep in mind that eating less salt  with your diet plan can have other positive effects.   Your BP will remain in a more normal range.

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