Question: What Kind Of Diet Is Useful To Help Control Blood Pressure?
Answer: Well, we sure do have a lot of confusing diet information these days, don't we? But when it comes to helping your blood pressure, the news is fairly straightforward. Concentrate first on the things that you should eat, and then we'll talk about the things that maybe you should avoid.
If you concentrate on eating fresh fruits and vegetables and then low fat dairy products, it's a really good beginning for a diet. And if you eat a lot of portions of those, then it leaves less room for some of those things that are less healthy for us.
So how much food you eat is important. Remember, portion size is really an important component of whether you're gaining weight or not. And so regardless of the quality of the diet, you need to balance your energy intake, the kinds of food that you're taking in, with the amount of physical activity that you're getting, so that you keep your body weight in a good range.
And then as we move to those things that we need to be careful about not putting too much of in our diet, for people with high blood pressure, salt can be important. And the American diet typically has much more salt than we need. So as you're selecting foods at the restaurant, try to choose foods that are lower in salt, and keep in mind that they usually use a lot of salt in preparing foods in restaurants. And then at the grocery store, try to eat from the periphery of the grocery store, fresh fruits and vegetables. And buy less food up and down the center aisles where we tend to have more processed and canned food. They tend to have more salt in them.
And then of course, you need to be careful about alcohol. If you choose to drink, women should keep their drinks to one per day or less, and men to two drinks or less. And men that are smaller-framed should just stick to one drink per day as well.
So all of those things are important, concentrating on the positive things, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, will get you a long way.