Hypertension (High B.P.) and Diet
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is high blood pressure, medically defined as - Blood pressure which remains consistently high and not just once / twice is termed hypertension.
Blood pressure is measured in two parameters. One is systolic (upper) and second is diastolic (lower), 120/80 mm of mercury, is the normal reading.
- In most cases the cause for high blood pressure is not known
- Family heredity
- Hormonal imbalance
- Kidney Diseases
What we eat directly affects our blood pressure. Hence it is very important to follow a strict dietary and an exercise regime.
Here are some dietary tips to manage hypertension:
- Cut down on salt (common table salt) intake; do not exceed more then 2 to 2.5 gm a day.
- In cases of severe hypertension avoid other sources of salts like - baking powder and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), monosodium glutamate and sodium benzoate. These are commonly known as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion salt, garlic salt and buillon salt. Also avoid salt-preserved foods like pickles, sauces, ketchups, canned and processed foods.
- Consume food rich in magnesium and calcium like - milk and milk products, wheat, brown rice, millets, green leafy vegetables, Sea plants, peas, lotus stem, pulses, legumes, crab, oyster, shellfish, nuts like - walnut, almond(are most concentrated source of magnesium but should be consumed in a very limited quantity as they are high in fats).
- Eat one banana a day will help control hypertension as it is high in fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
- Reduce intake of diet rich in saturated fats e.g. oily, fired food, desserts, red meat, eggs yolk, cheese, butter etc.
- Avoid foods rich in cholesterol: groundnut oil, ghee, butter, whole milk, eggs, lard (fats derived from pig meat), tallow (fats derived from goat or sheep mutton), oily fish, meats and red meat - all non-vegetarian food contain cholesterol in varied amount.
- Increase intake of foods that contain PUFA's (poly unsaturated fatty acids): flax / linseed oil is the richest source of PUFA's. Other oils that contain PUFA's are safflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, maize oil, sesame oil, rich bran oil, ground nut oil, mustard oil and olive oil. As all oils are high in fats, its consumption should be limited. The intake of oils should not exceed 20gms a day.
- Consume whole grain cereals, whole pulses, fresh fruits and vegetables - as they are high in fiber.
- Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks.
- Walk every day briskly for at least 30 minutes.
- Meditation & yoga will help to reduce and tackle stress.
Note:* Consult a qualified Nutritionist or a physician before you make any dietary changes. It is always advices to follow a diet under the guidance of a qualified nutritionist.