One of the first things that people think about when they are diagnosed with high blood pressure is: “What can I eat”? The answer is actually pretty simple, but can seem complicated in the beginning. You can still eat lots of things, including your favorite recipes; you just have to make the recipes healthier.
Yes, you can still eat all of your favorite foods, with some pretty minor changes. Eating healthy actually has very little to do with eating sticks and a whole lot to do with making healthier choices. Much of this comes down to making substitutions. There are still likely foods that, even with healthier substitutions, should not be eaten every day. You can still enjoy them from time to time though, and without raising your blood pressure and risking your health.
Herbs and Spices, Not Salt
One of the biggest problems with high blood pressure diets is sodium. Sodium is one of the main culprits in causing high blood pressure, among other potentially life threatening health issues. Cutting back on sodium can make a huge difference to your overall health.
You can help by making simple salt substitutions in your favorite meals. Try using herbs and spices to add flavor. Another surprising salt substitution is lemon juice, as the tartness replaces the salty flavor. There are also sodium free salt substitutions, but you should speak with your doctor before using them as some of them can contain potentially harmful chemicals.
Vegetable Based Oils, Not Lard
In your daily life, you want to cut most oils and fatty foods to a minimum. Sometimes, however, you might want to treat yourself with one of your favorite recipes. A good example is fried chicken. To make this dish a little healthier and better for your high blood pressure diet, try frying the chicken in vegetable oil instead of lard. This, of course, won’t make fried chicken healthy enough to eat everyday but it will help you enjoy this favorite on occasion. Don’t forget to substitute the salt in your breading as well.
Dairy Products for Low-Fat or Non Dairy Options
Unlike higher fat dairy products like whole milk, heavy cream, and cheese, low fat dairy products can actually help to lower your blood pressure. Making low-fat and non-dairy substitutions will not only help your blood pressure and other health issues, but they can be quite delicious. Some examples of good substitutions are: plain yogurt for sour cream, margarine for butter, almond, soy, or coconut milk for whole milk.
With some of these simple and smart substitutions, you can still enjoy your favorite recipes on occasion without threatening your health. You should, of course, still only eat certain foods in moderation as even with substitutions they will likely raise your blood pressure some. Always speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns regarding your diet, or if you are considering making changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Being heart healthy is important for you and your loved ones, click here for more ways to learn about high blood pressure.