High Blood Pressure Diet
There are certain foods that lower blood pressure, or at least help you in that direction. Here are some suggestions for a high blood pressure diet:
- Do a trial decrease of salt intake and increase potassium intake. Only about 1/3 of people with hypertension have salt-sensitive hypertension and respond to a sodium restrictive diet. Balance between minerals is more important. If it does not help, do not restrict sodium unnecessarily.
- Increase fiber intake - aim for at least 2 servings of vegetables per day, preferably more.
- Decrease intake of sucrose/refined sugars.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Eliminate trans fatty acids and all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats from the diet.
- Emphasize foods that are rich in potassium, including fruits, vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables), nuts/seeds, legumes, and whole grains.
- DASH diet: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension: (based on 2,000 kcal per day). The goal of this high blood pressure diet is to increase nutrients and fiber while decreasing fat and cholesterol. This diet has been shown to significantly decrease blood pressure. There are lower calorie variations of this diet, to promote weight loss.
- Grains and grain products: 7-8 servings per day.
- Vegetables: 4-5 servings per day
- Fruits: 4-5 servings per day.
- Low fat or fat free dairy foods: 2-3 servings per day
- Meats/fish/poultry: 2 or fewer servings per day.
- Nuts/seeds/legumes: 4-5 servings per week
- Fats/oils: 2-3 servings per day.
- Sweets: 5 servings per week.
- When combined with low salt, the diet is even more effective.
Note: High blood pressure diet recommendations and results may vary depending on the underlying cause of the hypertension.