How To Diet For Hypertension
Learn how to diet for hypertension now, and you can duck high blood pressure later. That might sound paranoid, but the statistics are not pretty: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Americans has hypertension, and in 2010, the price tag for treating it will total $76.6 billion. To prevent or fight hypertension, follow the DASH-Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension-guidelines.
- Halt the Salt:To halt hypertension, stop sprinkling salt. A high-sodium diet causes blood vessels to retain fluid, which in turn boosts blood volume, says Rutgers University's Health Services website. This forces the heart to pump harder. Cut out processed and frozen meals, and watch out for sneaky sources of sodium such as breads and deli meats. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables and meats instead, and if your food needs more flavor, turn to herbs instead of table salt.
- Pony Up the Potassium: Potassium helps "regulate water balance," says the Colorado State University Extension's "Diet and Hypertension" guide. It can even counteract the negative effects of sodium, just in case you can't resist the salt shaker. Make potassium a key part of your diet for hypertension. Bananas, potatoes and orange juice all make great sources.
- Make Friends with Magnesium: Chow down on spinach to get your daily dose of hypertension-fighting magnesium. Don't like spinach? The hypertension diet lets you lick all-natural, magnesium-rich peanut butter straight off the spoon guilt free. Also try whole-grain breads, oatmeal, cashews and beans, suggests the Office of Dietary Supplements in the National Institutes of Health.
- Drink Your Milk: Make your mother happy and drink your milk. Low calcium intake puts you at risk for hypertension, according to the Colorado State University Extension's "Diet and Hypertension" guide. Yogurt, cheese and spinach all fit the bill.
- Cut Calories: Got a gut? If the only "six pack" you have is a pack of beer, cut back on calories to lose excess fat. Even losing a few pounds can help you fight hypertension.
Hit the gym for an even greater impact on your hypertension and to keep your body at a healthy weight–a key factor in preventing and fighting hypertension.