High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common but serious medical condition. Hypertension means that your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body. While hypertension does not usually present any symptoms, if left untreated it can lead to heart attacks, aneurysms, strokes. Fortunately, a healthy meal plan can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of these conditions. A nutritionist or dietitian can help you create a customized meal plan to lower your blood pressure. Below are some tips to help you along the way.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was created to help people lower their blood pressure and has been endorsed by institutions like the Mayo Clinic and American Heart Association. On this meal plan, individuals eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy products and lean meats. The diet is high in fiber while being low in sugar and fat, which helps people on this diet to stay fuller longer. The diet can also be modified for vegetarians or pescatarians. With this meal plan, many find that they can lower their blood pressure naturally and do not need to resort to controlling it with medication.
If you’re trying to lower your blood pressure, it’s important to remember that lifestyle changes may be necessary in addition to dietary changes. Getting adequate sleep, lowering stress levels, and exercising regularly are all ways to lower your blood pressure. Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco products are also important. While these factors may seem unrelated to a high blood pressure diet plan, they play an essential role in heart health and should be considered supplements to the DASH diet.
For many, hypertension is directly related to being overweight. In addition to the DASH diet, some people may want to count calories or carbs in order to get to a healthy weight. Patients with hypertension should also try to limit their sodium. Sodium can slow weight loss progress by causing water retention, and it can also contribute to high blood pressure. By making small changes, people with hypertension can lower their blood pressure and improve their general health.
Looking for a customized diet plan to control your blood pressure? Contact us today at (646) 760-3438 to schedule an appointment with Registered Dietician Traci Fields.