High Blood Pressure Diet: What Should I Do?

high blood pressure dietLearning more about what you should be eating to lower your blood pressure is an important first step.  To know how to follow a high blood pressure diet, you can follow some simple steps to make your meal planning easier.

If you are currently suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension, then you should consider going on the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of this diet is, of course, to help lower your blood pressure by eating foods that are high in calcium, magnesium and potassium. Studies have shown that these nutrients help to reduce a person’s blood pressure.

Before you decide if you want to start a DASH diet, you will need to talk your doctor to make sure that it is right for you. Also, your doctor can also assist you in making the right choices so that your DASH diet will be a success.  But overall, knowing that the best way to have better health is to follow a high blood pressure diet is the best way to proceed.

As stated earlier, for the diet to be effective, you have to eat foods that are high in calcium, magnesium and potassium. Examples of foods that are high in these three nutrients are fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low fat dairy products. However, taking supplements instead of eating these foods will not be effective in helping you reduce your hypertension. You need to consume these nutrients from natural foods.

Why do I need to eat these foods instead of just taking a pill?  While it’s not exactly clear why the pills are not as effective as a food item, some scientists speculate that there are parts of the food that interact together to give the overall help with the diet through nutrients that we are not aware of.  For example, most vegetables are high in potassium and high in fiber when eaten with minimal processing.  A pill that is high potassium can also be overdosed on, much more easily than when you eat food.  And too much potassium is just as bad as too little, because it can affect your kidneys.

Besides eating lots of fruits and vegetables, you will probably want to increase your intake of whole grain foods and reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. You could also include fish and poultry in your diet as well. Adding some variety to your diet makes it easier to follow, and getting new recipes and tips to help keep you on track is a valuable part of meals and staying on the diet for the long term.

Like starting any diet, it can be a bit of a challenge. But you can be successful if you take baby steps instead of making one big dramatic change. A lot of times, if you do it all at once, you start to miss the foods that you loved before but can no longer have. As a result you find yourself giving up. By doing it slowly, you will be able to make your diet become part of your daily routine.

The way to do baby steps is to introduce parts of your diet in your regular meal and set goals for yourself.  For example, if you enjoy pizza, you can buy ready made crust and add low fat cheese and add lots of vegetables that are high in nutrients like broccoli, tomatoes or spinach. Or you could have raw vegetables with low-fat yogurt dip instead of having oily potato chips. As for setting goals, you could tell yourself that you plan to snack on at least one fruit each day instead of having cookies or candy.  A goal of eating one more serving of this or that item can be a helpful way to improve your high blood pressure diet.  Start out with saying, I am going to eat one more serving of fruit today – and keep adding to that over the week.

If you are suffering from hypertension, then the DASH diet is probably something worth doing to help stay on your high blood pressure diet. Be sure to visit your doctor to see if this is something that you can do and follow the guidelines that your doctor provides. Eating healthy and following a solid exercise plan will help you to lower your hypertension.  Exercise is a valuable part of the DASH diet too, because it helps to break down the foods and improve the way that your body uses them.

For a high blood pressure diet, a DASH diet can’t really be beat!  Learn more by signing up for our healthy heart email list that sends out information to help you stay on track and follow a high blood pressure diet – click here now to sign up!  Yes! Send me the meal plan and heart healthy info

Here are the current options we have available for people in need of a cardiac or heart healthy diet:

If you are having heart problems, or need a low sodium or low cholesterol diet, learn more here.

If you need a diet that is made for someone who is having kidney problems, is diabetic, and needs a lower sodium diet, click here to go to our renal diabetic information. Also for diabetics that need a cardiac diet.

 

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About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at http://www.renaldiethq.com/go/author

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