Healthy eating habits – how diet can affect your blood pressure
Your diet has a great effect on your blood pressure and eating healthier foods can help manage and reverse high blood pressure if you suffer from hypertension. The DASH diet is actually designed to help you eat heart healthy and avoid foods that might raise your blood pressure. Get heart smart about healthy eating habits and maintain a healthy heart in the process.
What are the basis of DASH diet?
The DASH diet is a heart healthy diet that is proven to lower high blood pressure naturally. The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and helps to cut back on salt and sugar, while maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. The basis of the diet is eating 6-8 servings of grains, 4-5 servings of vegetables, 4-5 servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products, 2 or fewer servings of lean meat, poultry and fish, 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds and legumes, and 2-3 servings of fats and oils each day. It also allows for 4 or less servings of sweets or sugars per week.
What foods help lower blood pressure?
Foods with high levels of potassium, magnesium and fiber are typically good for healthy blood pressure. These include fruits like apples, apricots, dates and bananas and vegetables like broccoli, carrots, green beans and dark leafy veggies such as spinach and kale. Read our blog post dedicated to the DASH diet which highlights all the categories of heart healthy foods that will help you to lower your blood pressure naturally and maintain healthy heart through better eating habits.
Is salt affecting my blood pressure?
Yes! Salt makes your body hold on to water and if you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body can raise your blood pressure. Controlling salt in your diet is simple if you remember that our daily required amount is probably what is already added in the prepared foods we eat such as bread, breakfast cereals and ready meats, leaving no room for added salt during cooking or at the table. Read food labels to watch for foods high in sodium, limit salt use in your home cooking and keep your daily salt intake below 2,300 milligrams a day (and ideally less an 1,500 mgs).
Which foods shall I avoid if I have high blood pressure?
There are certain foods that are best to avoid all together, which in return can have the greatest impact on lowering your blood pressure. Processed foods, alcohol, foods containing excessive amounts of salt, and sugar-rich foods such as cakes and sugar-sweetened beverages are the most common ones that have a negative impact on your heart health and healthy blood pressure. Eliminate these from your diet and you will be well on your way towards heart healthy eating.
Is fish good for blood pressure?
Adding fish to your diet can result in lower blood pressure if you select fatty fish high in omega 3 oils. Salmon and mackerel are rich in omega 3 minerals and should be part of a heart healthy diet. Be aware of fish that is high in mercury such as swordfish or tuna and limit them in your diet.