There are several things people can do that will help reduce high blood pressure, but a good place to begin is by learning how to start a diet for people with high blood pressure. Some of the other helpful things you can do are quit smoking, get plenty of exercise, take some weight off if you are overweight, learn how to manage your stress, and, of course, eat a healthy diet designed for people with high blood pressure.
You will need:
- A menu planner
- A list of foods and their nutrient content
- The recommended daily intake of sodium and other nutrients
- Check labels for salt/sodium content on canned foods. Buy fresh or frozen vegetables because they don’t contain any added salt, which must be limited in a diet for people with high blood pressure. If you do use canned vegetables, wash them thoroughly to remove most of the sodium, or choose ones that are marked “low-sodium” or “no-salt added” on the labels.
- Cook with fresh meat, fish, and poultry. Meats that are in cans, processed, or smoked, have a much higher salt content. Choose the fresh variety of meats, and use spices, vinegar, lemon, or herbs that don’t contain salt to help flavor them.
- Limit foods that are packed in brine. Brine contains a lot of salt. Avoid or limit things like pickles, olives, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables, to help lower the salt intake in a diet for people with high blood pressure.
- Watch those condiments! Things like mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and mustard can be full of salt, so use them sparingly. Soy sauce and teriyaki sauce are filled with salt, and even the lower sodium ones should be extremely limited. Also cut way down on table salt, or eliminate it completely if you have high blood pressure.
- When cooking rice or pasta, or even oatmeal, use the real deal. Stay away from the instant versions of cereal, or the boxed rice and pasta dishes because they are loaded with salt. Using dry rice and pasta you can eliminate or control the amount of salt used.
- Check labels on packaged foods used for that quick dinner or snack. Some of the biggest offenders of high salt content are those frozen pizzas and pizza snacks, some canned soups, rice and pasta side dishes, Asian foods, and especially those instant heat-in-the-microwave lunch products. Check out the labels, it will shock you how much salt can be in just one little portion!
Keeping up with the diet for people with high blood pressure when eating out. When eating out, check with the cook to see how the food is prepared. Ask the waitress to have your food prepared with no salt and no MSG. Choose items on the menu that are limited in salt like salads. Ask for your salad dressing to be put on the side so you have control of how much you use. You can also bring your own herbs or spices, or even your own salad dressing with you to flavor your food instead of using salt. Put your spices in a little baggie and keep them in your purse (or pocket).
- A good alternative for salty snacks is fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Dipping your fork in the dressing, then the salad, can help cut down on how much you use.
- If you don’t eat many fruits and vegetables, start slowly by adding in a glass of juice instead of soda.
- Make the changes slowly and you will soon find you have a diet that will help reduce your high blood pressure.