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How Does Diet Impact Blood Pressure?

How Does Diet Impact Blood Pressure?

What if you could eat your way to health? Although it may sound too good to be true, doctors all the way back to the 400 BC Greek physician Hippocrates have considered sound nutrition to be the bedrock of maintaining health and even reversing some disease. In fact, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is founded on these principles.

At Modern Wellness Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, we’re devoted to keeping your heart healthy. That means keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol low. If you have high blood pressure (HBP), also known as hypertension, here’s what you can — and can’t — eat on the DASH diet if you want to keep your blood pressure healthy and low.

Eat more minerals, fiber, and protein

It’s nice to start a “diet” by realizing that you can eat more of some of the most delicious foods on the planet. To keep your heart healthy and your blood pressure low, it’s important to eat foods that are high in essential minerals, such as:

Protein, which is a macronutrient, is also important. Protein helps your body build and protect your organs and tissues, including your muscles (and your heart is a muscle). Based on a 2,000-daily calorie diet, you can look forward to eating: 

You can also have 4-5 servings of nuts and seeds per week. A serving of nuts is 1/3 cup whole or 2 tablespoons of nut butter. Or, have two tablespoons of seeds or 1/2 cup of cooked legumes. 

Try to limit sweets to five or fewer servings per week. A serving is 1 tablespoon sugar, jelly or jam, 1/2 cup sorbet, or 1 cup of lemonade.

Eat less salt and fewer processed foods

The easiest way to cut back on blood-pressure-raising sodium (i.e., salt) is to eliminate processed foods from your diet entirely. Processed foods are not only high in sodium, they’re low in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Cut out high-sodium, high-sugar, and pro-inflammatory foods such as:

Avoid temptation by shopping the perimeters of the supermarket, where the fresh, healthy foods are sold; avoid the inner aisles, where the processed and boxed foods are stacked. You can also cut out sodium by not using salt when you cook. Don’t use more than 2,300 mg of salt and sodium a day. That’s about 1 teaspoon of table salt

Flavor your foods with citrus and herbs

You may need to cut back on sodium gradually, because your palate’s used to more salt than is healthy for you. But you can replace salt with other foods that add flavor, such as:

Following the DASH diet not only lowers your blood pressure, it can lower your cholesterol, too. You may also need medication to keep your blood pressure at healthy rates. If you’re overweight, a medically supervised weight-loss program helps you shed the extra pounds that put pressure on your heart and blood vessels.

To get help with your HBP and control your heart health with diet, exercise, and other means, contact our office today. Phone our friendly staff at 702-463-9159 or use our online booking form.

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