What You Can and Can’t Do With Hypertension: A Diet for High Blood Pressure

According to the World Health Organization, the number of hypertensive adults (30-79 years old) has doubled over the past 30 years to 1.28 billion. Nearly half of these people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.

Often, keeping your weight in check, exercising, quitting tobacco, and drinking alcohol in moderation is enough to avoid a problem like high blood pressure.

What not to eat and drink with hypertension

The recommendations of the British National Health Service say that in order to keep your blood pressure normal, it is worth first of all limiting the intake of salt (less than one teaspoon a day). Including spicy herbs and spices in your diet can help with this – they will diversify the taste of your dishes.

Sweets and added sugar should be consumed less. It is recommended to eat 5 or fewer servings per week. In this case, 1 serving is a tablespoon of sugar or jam, 1 glass of lemonade, and half a glass of ice cream. And it is better to give up eating flour and margarine.

It is also necessary to abstain from fatty meat food (strong broths, fatty pork, bacon, and smoked meat).

Coffee drinkers and lovers of black tea, energy drinks, and colas should reduce their intake in order to keep blood pressure under control. Such drinks may be consumed in moderate amounts (coffee – no more than 4 cups a day).

Caffeinated beverages should not be the main or only source of fluids for people with high blood pressure. Replace them with water, juices, and other drinks.

What foods to eat with hypertension

Doctors recommend following a special DASH diet (which stands for “dietary approaches to stop hypertension”).

According to this approach, the diet should include more fiber (whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta). Such foods should form the basis of the diet.

It is also advised to eat more fruits and vegetables, and aim to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Dietary approaches to stop hypertension also include the use of low-fat or non-fat dairy products (2-3 times a day).

It is better to eat lean, lean meat (chicken, turkey, rabbit), giving preference to fish. You should eat no more than 180 grams a day. It is also possible to eat eggs, 1 at a time if you have high blood pressure.

You should not give up nuts, seeds, and legumes. They can be eaten in 4-5 servings per week.

What not to do with high blood pressure

With high blood pressure, you should not drink alcohol, smoke, eat fatty foods or drink sugary sodas.

Although you should forget about heavy physical activity (body-building and other power training) with high blood pressure, you can do nothing without physical activity (anything from walks to working in the garden and doing sports).

Medium-intensity aerobic activity (such as taking a brisk walk or riding a bicycle) is worth doing at least 2.5 hours per week. Physical activity lowers blood pressure and can help get rid of excess weight that contributes to worsening blood pressure problems.

What foods and drinks quickly lower blood pressure

Experts recommend hypertension sufferers consume foods that lower blood pressure. In particular, foods rich in calcium and vitamin D for better absorption (skim milk, yogurt, cheese, green vegetables, broccoli, tofu, almonds, seafood, and fish).

It is also recommended to eat foods rich in potassium (oranges, bananas, apricots, tomatoes, baked potatoes, zucchini, tuna), and magnesium (leafy vegetables, beans, cereals).

It is also advised to consume foods that help dilate blood vessels, such as garlic, and drinks that reduce blood pressure (green tea, kart-ade tea).

Don’t give up sour berries and citrus fruits either. Variety your diet with cranberries, cranberries, grapefruits, and lemons.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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