Diet for High blood pressure

  • High blood pressure increases risk of health problems like heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and dementia.
  • Prehypertension means that you do not have hypertension, but you are likely to develop it in the future. A blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called prehypertension and a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is considered high. 
  • Here are the lifestyle approaches you can make to lower your blood pressure.
  • Losing a little weight if you are over wt. /obese, just 3-5 kg, if you are not ready to lose more weight.  
  • Physical exercise, 1/2 – 1 hour most days of the week. Even moderate activity for 15 minutes at a time, such as walking and light strength training can help.
  • Do not compensate with strenuous exercise only on weekends. It can be risky with a high blood pressure.
  • Keep an alcohol diary to track your true drinking patterns. One drink equals 12 ounces (355 mL) of beer, 5 ounces of wine (148 mL) or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor (45 mL). If you’re drinking more than the suggested amounts by your doctor/ dietician, cut back.
  • Avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke.
  • Include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, whole pulses and low-fat milk and milk products. 
  • Eat sweets and fats in small amounts.
  • Eat different colored fruits and vegetables; they are rich in potassium (helps lower blood pressure) and phytochemicals (has antioxidant properties).
  • Try to avoid salty and processed foods like pickle, chips, frozen food, namkeens/ farsan, salted nuts etc. Ask your dietician to design a low salt, potassium rich and high fibre diet plan.
  • If it’s difficult to drastically reduce the sodium in your diet, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.
  • Write down what you eat, for a week. It well help your dietician to know your true eating habits.
  • Use spices and lime juice, rather than salt, to add more flavor to your foods.
  • Make a shopping list before heading to the supermarket to avoid picking up junk/ processed food.
  • Manage stress or anxiety. Take breaks for deep-breathing exercises or take up yoga or meditation. If self-help doesn’t work, seek out a professional for counseling.
  • Monitor your blood pressure at home and make regular doctor’s appointments.
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