Healthy Dietary Tips for Hypertension

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the arteries have persistently elevated blood pressure. Every time the human heart beats, it pumps blood to the whole body through the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump, bringing tension upon the heart.

Hypertension can lead to damaged organs, as well as several illnesses, such as renal failure (kidney failure), heart failure, stroke, or heart attack.

The normal level for blood pressure is below 120/80, where 120 represents the systolic measurement (peak pressure in the arteries) and 80 represents the diastolic measurement (minimum pressure in the arteries). Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called prehypertension (to denote increased risk of hypertension), and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered hypertension.

Modest changes in diet and lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

In general, foods low in cholesterol, saturated fat and salt should be taken (see Dash Diet). Fatty acids in fish contain Omega 3 that is shown to be effective in preventing heart diseases. Similarly, taking moderate quantities of red wine is also found to be beneficial.
Caution: High intake of alcohol is bad and should be avoided.

Foods that can save arteries and prevent heart disease: Seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, onions, garlic, olive oil, alcohol in moderation, foods high in Vitamin A, C and E.

Foods that can damage arteries and the heart are: Meats and dairy foods high in saturated fat, excessive alcohol consumption.

If you are overweight, adopt a healthy weight-reduction diet plan and stick to it. For a weight reduction diet plan, feel free to contact us. Remember that obesity places a strain on the cardiovascular and respiratory system.

Take note of these on a daily…

Make sure that your diet is well balanced and contains plenty of fiber. Studies have shown that among the sources of dietary fiber includes cereal (whole grains), vegetables, and fruits appears to be the most beneficial.

The type of fat you consume is also very important. Monounsaturated fats, found in olive and canola oil, cause levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL, often known as the “bad cholesterol”) to decline without affecting levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL, often known as the “good cholesterol”). Saturated fats, (type of fat found in animal products such as meat and dairy foods, and trans-fatty acids found in margarine, shortening, and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, have the opposite effect. Avoid consumption of saturated fats. Include raw nuts (except peanuts), olive oil, cashew nut, tuna, and mackerel in your diet. These foods contain essential fatty acids that are important for cardiovascular health.

Include garlic and onions in your diet. They contain compounds that help to reduce serum cholesterol levels.

Avoid grilled and barbecued foods. Research has shown that people who favor meat cooked over smoldering charcoal are increasing their risk of cardiomyopathy. Carcinogens that form during the browning process are believed to contribute to inflammation of the arteries and the deterioration of the heart muscle.

Avoid stimulants such as coffee and black tea that contain caffeine. Coffee increases stress hormones in the body, putting coffee drinkers at greater risk of heart disease. Also avoid tobacco, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, butter, red meat, fats (particularly animal fats and hydrogenated oils), fried foods, processed and refined foods, soft drinks, spicy foods, and white flour products, such as white bread.

Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. One study found that men who drank at least five glasses of water every day had a 51-percent lower risk of heart disease than those who did not. For women, the risk of heart disease was 35 percent lower.

Eliminate all sources of sodium from your diet. Salt contains sodium, which increases fluid retention and makes the heart work harder. The American Heart Association advises heart patients to limit their sodium intake from all sources to the equivalent of no more than 1 teaspoon of salt daily.

If you take aspirin regularly for a heart condition, avoid alcohol and antacids, within an hour of taking the aspirin. The combination of aspirin and alcohol can easily aggravate the stomach. Blood-alcohol levels can become higher if aspirin is taken even an hour before. Using antacids can reduce the amount of aspirin circulating in the body.

Your life has a value.. Eat right today!

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