4 Tips for High Blood Pressure Diet – Food to Eat and to Avoid

March 12, 2007 by  

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By Tanya Turner

When you discover that you have hypertension or pre-hypertension, the first thing doctors do, they prescribe medication. However, the right diet can dramatically reduce your blood pressure as well, sometimes so much that you will not need any drugs. Find out what a high blood pressure diet is and how you can easily incorporate it into your lifestyle.

An ideal diet for high blood pressure will be:

* Low in sodium (salt)

* Low in saturated fats and cholesterol

* High in antioxidants and vitamins

* High in potassium and magnesium

In other words, a diet generally associated with healthy living and a high blood pressure diet has a lot in common. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean at all that all you will have to eat from now on is steamed broccoli. For example, the best thing for high blood pressure diet is to go for a baked potato rather than French fries or a chicken sandwich not a hamburger. The most important thing is to limit foods that lead to increasing blood pressure.

Tip 1: Eat more home cooked meals

The easiest way to maintain a diet that will help with high blood pressure control is to prepare meals yourself from fresh products rather than eat prepackaged food. Almost all precooked meals are high in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol, while low in other important nutrients. Home cooking takes more time of course, but there are plenty of healthy and incredibly tasty recopies that take only 15-20 minutes to cook.

The recommended sodium intake for people with hypertension is less than 3000 mg a day, and an average American consumes 7000 to 9000 mg… A good way to cut down on salt is to stay away from packaged condiments. Would you believe that just one serving of ordinary tomato sauce usually contains about 250 mg of sodium? That will be additional 250 mg, to a meal that already contains salt. The same can be said about most salad dressings. Using a spoon of olive oil instead of bottled salad dressing on your salad will make a great difference.

Tip 2: Select foods high in potassium and magnesium

Now when you know what foods to avoid, let’s talk about what foods are beneficial. Most fruits and vegetables are good because they are low in fat, cholesterol and sodium (that is unless you add salt to them, of course). But the most beneficial veggies and fruits are the ones that are high in magnesium and potassium. Both minerals have been proved to reduce blood pressure.

Best foods for potassium are:

* Apricots

* Sultanas and Raisins

* All Bran

* Figs

* Dried mixed fruit

* Most Seeds and nuts average (unsalted)

* Potatoes

* Tomatoes

* Avocados

* Bananas

For magnesium look at:

* Black Beans

* Broccoli

* Peanuts

* Oysters

* Scallops

* Soy milk

* Spinach

* Whole grain cereal

* Whole wheat bread

Tip 3: Consult a physician for best high blood pressure diet

Everybody should follow general food recommendations to lower you blood pressure. However, there might be specific foods that you in particular should avoid or add to your diet. The reason is that as most people, you may have not only high blood pressure, but other health problems and your diet should address them all.

Also if you are overweight, that can greatly affect your blood pressure. The first thing you doctor will suggest is to choose a diet that will help you lose weight. While if your weight is normal, your diet will be different.

Tip 4: Choose diet to prevent high blood pressure

As they say, to prevent is always better than to cure, so even if you don’t have any problems with blood pressure, it is a good idea to follow high blood pressure diet. Many studies have shown that hypertension is hereditary, so you should be particularly careful if your parents suffer from high blood pressure.

Tanya Turner is a publisher of High Blood Pressure 101 where you can find information in plain English about high blood pressure diets and other ways to prevent and control hypertension

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tanya_Turner

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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