Diet For High Blood Pressure

There are many factors which contribute to high blood pressure. An unhealthy diet and being overweight are two factors that play massive roles in the development of hypertension (high blood pressure), even when someone is young.

We often wrongly presume high blood pressure is a disease which affects you when you are older. However, this is a mistaken and potentially dangerous attitude to have as high blood pressure can considerably contribute to the risk of stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure, amongst other diseases. Hence, high blood pressure ought to be taken seriously at any age.

Should you adhere to a high blood pressure diet, that does not mean you have to follow a strict diet plan. There is a correlation between particular foods as well as dietary habits which can considerably increase the link between high blood pressure and diet. Regular exercise and a sensible diet is the best advice for enhancing your wellbeing and avoiding high blood pressure.

Salt

Salt is deemed to have a direct impact on blood pressure and a greater than recommended intake can considerably increase blood pressure over quite a short period of time.

In certain cases this can lead to key organs like the heart and kidneys getting damaged. Should you keep your salt limit to 5-6 grams a day, problems like high blood pressure can be averted. A lot of us have more than double this amount due to our:

  • Adding extra salt to meals
  • Putting salt in food when we are cooking
  • Purchasing processed meals and foods which have a higher than recommended salt content.

Should you acknowledge and action your salt intake by reducing the amount of salt in your diet, you can reduce the likelihood of developing problems related to high blood pressure.

Salt content is clearly shown on many foods, so it is easy for the consumer to make informed dietary choices. These kind of diet decisions make all the difference when trying to avoid high blood pressure and the diseases it may cause.

Alcohol

Alcohol is okay should it be drunk in ‘moderation’. Information as to what is considered safe changes, and ‘moderation’ has different meanings for different people. However, it is important for those who already have high blood pressure to be aware of the effect alcohol has on blood pressure as well as related issues.

The recommended alcohol intake for people with high blood pressure and others if they wish to avoid high blood pressure is:

For Women

  • 2 units daily
  • A maximum of 14 units per week

For Men

  • 3 units daily
  • A maximum of 21 units per week

It is highly advisable to go two weeks without alcohol. Binge drinking is strongly advocated against as it is very difficult to ascertain what you have consumed when you have been binge drinking.

Alcohol also affects your liver and pancreas, and is associated with a number of serious health problems when recommended amounts are exceeded.

A diet high in fruit and vegetables – the building blocks of any healthy diet - is recommended as it supports an acceptable blood pressure.