So you just got back from the doctor and your blood pressure is high.
You’re discouraged. You knew hypertension might be a possibility, but you just don’t want to be on yet another medication.
But all is not lost. There’s another way, and it might even be a better way. If you get serious, if you’re willing to lower your salt intake, count your calories, reduce the amount you eat, and even throw in a little exercise, you can lower your blood pressure naturally.
One of the best things you can do to eat in a more healthy way is to track what you eat. Our own recollections of what we eat and drink usually aren’t accurate, so keeping a careful record will give you the information you need to make the right changes.
Once you know where you’re starting from, you can start reducing calories and portions to help you lower your blood pressure and lose weight.
One of the biggest factors in lowering your blood pressure is decreasing the amount of salt you take in. The American Heart Association recommends you eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, and ideally no more than 1,500 mg, especially if you have high blood pressure.
Considering the average American eats more than 3,400 mg of salt each day, you have plenty of room to improve as you try to lower your blood pressure.
Remember that most of the sodium you eat doesn’t come from the salt shaker — it comes from prepackaged, prepared, and restaurant foods. To lower your sodium, start reading labels on your food. Look for low sodium options, and eat fewer packaged, processed foods.
So what should you eat? Potassium, magnesium, and fiber help control your blood pressure, so you should look for foods that have high amounts. These include whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meat, and poultry.
One of the best ways to keep your diet on track to lower your blood pressure is to follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. The DASH diet gives you daily and weekly goals for your nutrition. Click the link to get a list of the recommended servings for each food group.
The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains, while including less salt and sugar than your regular diet by cutting out sweets, red meat, fats, processed meat, etc.
Not only does the diet lower your blood pressure, but it also reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
When you’re ready to get serious about your health, serious help is available at Phillips Family Medical. Just call our DeSoto, Texas, office or use our online scheduler to book an appointment today, and we’ll get you on the road to lower blood pressure!