High blood pressure is a serious health condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other serious health complications. Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing these conditions. Dietitian-recommended diets such as the “Eat This Not That” diet can help you make healthier food choices and lower your blood pressure. This diet focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods, limiting sodium and saturated fat, and increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. By following this diet, you can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure and improve your overall health.
The Best Diet To Lower Blood Pressure, Says Dietitian — Eat This Not That
High blood pressure is a serious health issue that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other serious medical conditions. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lower your blood pressure, including making changes to your diet. According to dietitians, the best diet to lower blood pressure is one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, and low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet, and they are especially important for those looking to lower their blood pressure. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help you get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs. Aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Some of the best choices include apples, oranges, bananas, spinach, kale, broccoli, and carrots.
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eating whole grains can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Aim to eat at least three servings of whole grains each day. Some of the best choices include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Low-fat dairy products are a great source of calcium, which can help lower your blood pressure. Aim to eat at least two servings of low-fat dairy products each day. Some of the best choices include skim milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese.
Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, and Sodium
It is important to limit your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. These foods can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease. Aim to limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 10% of your total daily calories, and limit your intake of trans fat to less than 1% of your total daily calories. Additionally, aim to limit your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day.
By following these dietary guidelines, you can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Talk to your doctor or dietitian for more information about the best diet to lower your blood pressure.
Although it can stem from genetics, high blood pressure is a condition that can affect your body, potentially causing heart attacks and strokes. If you’re dealing with high blood pressure, chances are your doctor has tried to supply you with ways of lowering it, such as developing exercise routines and fixing what you eat and drink. It is possible to get your blood pressure down. However, it’s important you follow specific diets in order to lower your risk.
One diet, in particular, was actually meant to help lower blood pressure. According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, the best diet to help lower blood pressure is the DASH Diet.
“The DASH Diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was designed to help individuals with high blood pressure lower it,” says Goodson. “High blood pressure is a risk for cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of men and women in the US. So, improving blood pressure is necessary for your heart.”
According to Goodson, the diet includes foods that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients can help lower blood pressure and are also low in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. It also includes limiting sodium intake to between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams a day.
The DASH Diet also encourages eating lean protein daily (such as fish, beans, and poultry) as well as multiple servings of healthy fat throughout the week. Healthy fats can include nuts, seeds, and healthy oils.
“A key recommendation is to eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day,” says Goodson. “While that might sound like a lot, the truth is that processed foods, restaurant food, and fast food are very high in sodium. And in some cases, just one food item can land you over 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day.”
Goodson suggests cooking at home and flavoring your foods with herbs and spices instead of salt, which will help cut back on sodium.
Along with reducing sodium intake, someone who is following the DASH Diet should also limit saturated and added sugars on a regular basis. Aside from dieting, they should also be exercising, as exercise can also help lower blood pressure.
If you are stumped for what you can eat on the DASH Diet, Goodson recommends some specific foods and portions (given the intake is 2,000 calories a day).
“The DASH Diet recommends eating 4 to 5 servings of veggies a day,” says Goodson. “Vegetables are high in nutrients and have no sodium, a common contributor to high blood pressure and thus unhealthy blood circulation.”
As recommended before, Goodson suggests seasoning your vegetables with herbs and spices instead of salt.
One of the recommendations of the DASH Diet is to eat foods rich in potassium. Some examples include fruits like Medjool dates, bananas, berries, and avocado.
“The goal is to consume 4 to 5 servings a day on this eating pattern, with a serving of fruit being one medium fruit, a half-cup chopped, one cup of berries, or one-fourth cup of dried fruit,” says Goodson.
The DASH Diet also says that calcium could potentially help lower blood pressure and improve circulation. It is recommended to eat three servings of low-fat dairy a day because it could help provide you with the calcium you need.
A serving is considered one cup of low-fat milk or yogurt and 1.5 ounces of low-fat cheese.
Whole grains provide essential dietary fiber, which is important for lowering cholesterol levels and helping your body control blood sugar levels.
“The goal is to eat 6 to 8 servings of whole grains, with a serving being 1 slice of bread or a half-cup of a cooked grain like rice,” says Goodson.