Eat To Beat High Blood Pressure
If you’ve been reading this or any other health publication for a while, you’ve no doubt heard about the DASH diet. You already know that diet plays a huge role in preventing or controlling high blood pressure. You know that the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) recommends eating lots of fruits and vegetables, reducing amounts of red meat and salt, and choosing low-fat or nonfat dairy products. You’re sold. But how do you get started?
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the creator of the DASH diet, has also come up with a list of 16 things you can do, beginning right now, to eat to beat high blood pressure.
- Replace whole milk with fat-free (skim) milk or low-fat (1 percent) milk.
- Buy cheeses marked “low-fat” or “fat-free” on the package.
- Eat fruits and vegetables without butter or sauce.
- Eat more whole-grain products (rice, cereals, pasta, couscous, barley, bulgur) and more beans.
- Choose lean cuts of meat, fish, and skinless turkey and chicken.
- Buy low- or reduced-sodium or no-salt-added versions of foods.
- Use two egg whites for each whole egg and margarine or oil instead of butter.
- Use light mayonnaise instead of regular mayo.
- Use nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Replace canned or processed meats and fish with fresh, lean products.
- Make a meatloaf with lean ground turkey.
- Make tacos with skinless chicken breast.
- Cool soups and gravies and skim off fat before reheating them.
- Top a baked potato with salsa instead of butter.
- Season your foods with green pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, lemon, or cilantro instead of salt.
- Eat fruit, instead of pie or cake, for dessert.
If you need help with your diet, the certified dietitians at the Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center can help. They are trained in helping people who suffer with high blood pressure. So get the expert help you want with a customized meal plan. Our highly trained cardiologists at the Strickland Heart Center can help you monitor your high blood pressure and help you reduce your chance of having a heart attack. To find a cardiologist, click here.