By Dr Amit Kumar Chaurasia
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health problem that affects millions of people worldwide. High blood pressure can cause various health problems, including kidney disease. However, making changes in diet and lifestyle can help prevent or manage hypertension and reduce the risk of kidney disease. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommend the DASH diet for heart-healthy eating habits. This diet not only lowers blood pressure but also helps reduce the risk of kidney disease. A low-salt diet is key to controlling hypertension, and it emphasizes no added table salt in food.
High Blood Pressure: Key Features Of DASH Diet
What does the DASH diet emphasize? It includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, lean protein like fish, poultry, and beans, healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including nuts and seeds, and foods rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and lean protein. What foods does the DASH diet restrict? It restricts foods high in saturated and trans-fat, high sodium foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and sweets.
To achieve optimal health, the nutritional goal should be to consume 27% of calories from total fat, 6% of calories from saturated fat, 18% of calories from protein, 55% of calories from carbs, 150 mg of cholesterol, 2300 mg of sodium (if reduced to 1500mg even much better to control hypertension), 4700 mg of potassium, 1250 mg of calcium, 500 mg of magnesium, and 30 g of fiber.
Best Foods For Hypertensive Patients
Here are some types of food that hypertensive patients can consume to maintain a healthy diet:
GRAINS: This category includes bread, cereals, rice, and pasta. Focus on whole grains, such as whole-grain bread or brown rice, by looking for foods marked as 100% whole grain or whole wheat. Avoid spreading butter, cream, cheese, and sausage.
VEGETABLES: Hypertensive patients can consume tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens, and other vegetables. Exceptions – avocados and coconuts.
DAIRY: Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products are good options for hypertensive patients.
LEAN MEAT, POULTRY, AND FISH: Trim away skin and fat from meat and then boil, grill, roast, or poach instead of frying. Heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, herring, and tuna (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), are also good choices.
NUTS, SEEDS, AND LEGUMES: Almonds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, peas, lentils, and soybean products (tofu, tempeh) are good alternatives to meat. However, nuts are high in calories, so hypertensive patients should consume them in moderate amounts.
FATS AND OILS: Hypertensive patients should take 30% or less of their daily calories from fat. They should avoid trans fats, found in crackers, baked goods, and fried items, and limit saturated fats to less than 10% of total daily calories by limiting meat, butter, cheese, whole milk, cream, and eggs.
SWEETS: Hypertensive patients can choose sweets that are fat-free or low-fat, such as sorbets, fruit ices, and jellybeans. They can also sensibly use artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose.
ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE: Men should limit alcohol intake to two or fewer drinks and women should limit it to one or less.
FIBRE: Recommended amount, 22 to 34 grams for adults.
MINERALS POTASSIUM: Recommended daily amount 4700 mg. It may be difficult to obtain the recommended 15 daily amount from food alone, but bananas are a rich source of potassium )
CALCIUM: Recommended amount between 1000-1300mg.
Vitamin B12: 2.4 micrograms recommended.
Vitamin D: 15 micrograms recommended; 3 ounces of salmon covers almost 20 micrograms.
Also Read: High Blood Sugar: 10 Best Fruits For People With Diabetes
(Disclaimer: Dr Amit Kumar Chaurasia is the Chief Cath Lab & TAVI, Cardiology Unit ll, Artemis Hospitals, Gurgaon. The views expressed in this article are those of the author. Zee News doesn’t confirm this.)