It is important to be cautious when you decide to begin a hypertension diet. High blood pressure is a condition that can have serious effects on your health, even if it is only in the beginning stages. Most hypertension sufferers will eventually develop heart disease and stroke. The first thing you will need to do is to completely eliminate all foods in your diet that contain high levels of sodium, such as most canned goods, salty potatoes, French fries and fried chicken. The salt content in these foods will only add to your hypertension problem by causing a buildup of excess sodium in your body.
Canned foods are typically high in sodium, which means that your body is getting more sodium than it needs everyday. Sodium is found in table salt, which is added to most cans and tinned products in the kitchen, to make them taste better. Even if you do not eat a lot of salty foods, you should also cut back on the amount of salt you use in your cooking and at the table. You will find that once you begin following a high blood pressure lowering diet, you will lower your sodium consumption.
After you have reduced your sodium intake through dietary recommendations and medication, you should begin to look at ways to make lifestyle changes that will help to reduce your risk of heart failure and other health complications. The first area that needs to be looked at is your weight. Being overweight is one of the most serious factors that puts an individual at high risk for developing hypertension. Even though you are perfectly healthy now, being overweight can be corrected with the proper weight loss program.
Salt is often found in foods that you may eat on a daily basis, such as potato chips and canned vegetables. There are two things that you can do to counteract the effects that salt has on blood pressure levels. The first is to replace those salty foods with healthier alternatives, and the second is to experiment with different salt substitutes. If you feel that you cannot go without a salty snack now and then, that is acceptable; however, you should incorporate a healthy alternative into your daily diet that will produce the same effect.
Increasing the amount of fiber and potassium that you consume is another way that you can help correct the issues of high blood pressure. Both of these substances are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and when consumed in moderation they do not cause problems. Increasing your consumption of these foods can significantly lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or heart failure.
If you drink alcohol, you should also substantially reduce your intake. Even though it may lower your blood pressure slightly, drinking too much can be detrimental to your health. If you are used to drinking, you may want to gradually reduce your alcohol consumption until you have addressed your hypertension problem. This will help you achieve your goal of lowering your blood pressure without impacting your other health goals.
There are many ways that you can incorporate more potassium and fiber into your diet. One is by consuming more bananas. Bananas are rich in potassium and fiber; as well as protein. They are low in calories, so eating several bananas per day can add up to some serious weight loss. Another option is to drink water with a dash of lemon or lime; this will not only taste good but it can also significantly reduce your sodium consumption.
Finally, reducing your sodium consumption by eating more lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables is important for a successful hypertension diet. Lean protein sources include fish, chicken, legumes (beans), nuts, and vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, carrots, and eggplant. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great because they are high in nutrients; however, they are also high in sodium content, so it is important to balance your diet. Fresh fruit juice is an excellent alternative if you cannot tolerate a large amount of fruits or vegetables. As long as your diet contains the right combination of fruits and vegetables, you are on the right track to lowering your blood pressure.