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Diet Tips for High Blood Pressure

By Lana Bandoim

High blood pressure can increase the risk of strokes and heart disease. Although medications may help you control high blood pressure, it is also important to make diet changes. Consider the following diet tips and talk to a doctor or nutritionist for more advice.

Food and Blood Pressure

Some foods can raise your blood pressure while others can lower it. It is important to discuss a diet plan with a doctor and stick to it. In general, a low-sodium diet is recommended for people with high blood pressure. However, some medications may require additional diet changes, so it is crucial to talk about nutrition with a doctor.

Low-Sodium Diet

According to the American Heart Association, people with high blood pressure may need to limit their sodium to 1,500 mg per day. This is lower than the recommendation of 2,300 mg per day for healthy adults. However, you may need to eat even less sodium depending on other health factors.

Putting Away the Salt Shaker

The easiest diet tip is to put away the salt shaker to stop adding extra sodium to your meals. Resist the need to season everything with salt and switch to herbs or spices without sodium. Spices such as cumin, black pepper, oregano, cayenne and others are good alternatives. Lemon juice and vinegar may also replace salt in some recipes.

Other Diet Tips

Salt can hide in many foods, so reading labels and recognizing the ingredients is important. Avoid fast food and most processed food because it tends to have the most sodium. Stay away from frozen dinners, canned vegetables and prepackaged soups. They tend to have a lot of salt and preservatives. Look for low sodium or no sodium labels on products.

People with high blood pressure also need to eat a healthy diet that has fresh fruit and vegetables. Healthy grains and lean meat are also good additions. The key is to avoid adding salt or high fat sauces while cooking. Learn to season things with spices, herbs and citrus fruit. Try to use less butter and oil while preparing meals at home. Avoid eating out if it affects your diet.    

High blood pressure is dangerous, so it should never be ignored. Changing your diet is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing high blood pressure. Talk to a doctor or nutritionist about your diet concerns and get more tips about a low-sodium meal plan.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Peachtree City, Ga.

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