Those with high blood pressure who are seeking to modify their diet habits are at an advantage, since most of the advised eating guidelines are so similar to the healthy dietary advice with which most people are already familiar. Namely
- low fat
- lots of natural fruits and vegetables
- moderate consumption of red meat
- moderate consumption ofsweets
1. Whole Grains
Whole grain foods such as
- hearty breads
- natural oat products
are very good for you. They are a powerful source of complex carbohydrates (a great long term energy source) and can help to control cholesterol and balance secretion of hormones like insulin.
These hormone balancing effects can help decrease appetite and lower body weight, which is another important facet of high blood pressure control.
2. Fruits & Vegetables
Probably the most familiar piece of dietary advice: eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They are a good source of stable energy, low in calories, help curb appetite, and work to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals.
The easiest rule of thumb to remember is to eat at least three different colors of vegetables with each meal. So, a few pieces of carrot, two cherry tomatoes, and a serving of green, leafy vegetables would do the trick. Remember too that when in comes to cooking fruits and vegetables steamed is better than boiled, and raw is the best.
3. Lean Meats
Traditionally, lean meats have been identified as
- poultry (white meat)
- lean pork
With the continued expansion of food choices, though, some interesting new options are available. For those who relish the taste of a steak, or love spicy tacos, the increasing availability of both buffalo and ostrich are worth looking into. Buffalo tastes nearly identical to beef but a serving contains less than half the fat and only one third of the calories as a serving of white meat chicken! Ostrich is positioned similarly on the health ladder. Both can be used in any recipe that calls for beef.