-- Question: What kind of diet is useful to help control blood pressure?
Answer: Well when we look at diets to control blood pressure, first of all you'd like to have a drop in the caloric intake of the diet. If you look at the component of the diet, oftentimes it's a matter of how well you can restrict sodium. Guidelines sometimes can not really be met by the patient from a sodium intake point of view, primarily because there's a lot of hidden sources of sodium that you can't really detect unless you read very carefully the package labels. So even what's labeled as no salt is really just a small reduction in salt but still a lot of salt.
Second part is just having the right amount of potassium in the diet. Interestingly when we look at potassium intake it is very regional and it also is urban versus rural. That being said, the more you can get in the way of potassium in your diet, the more the benefit.
So we're looking at a couple things here, we're looking at weight reduction which may be a consequence of controlling calories, we're looking at dropping the sodium intake but there being a little bit difficulty in getting down as low as you might need to, and we're looking at a somewhat easier course of action which is to increase the potassium content of the diet. Those are three key points that you could take away as to how best to modify your blood pressure as a consequence of changing your diet.