No matter your age or current health status, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can benefit you in all aspects of your physical well-being. This includes working to lower your blood pressure if you suffer from hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
While consulting with your physician and a nutritionist is the best path toward designing a diet custom made for you, there are three simple dietary steps you can take in your everyday life to reduce the risk of hypertension.
1. Switch your beef for pork
When you think about dieting with the intention of reducing your risk of high blood pressure, cutting out meat might come to mind. There is certainly some truth to this; many common forms of prepared meat, specifically beef, contain high amounts of saturated fat and sodium. Saturated fat and sodium have been known to cause spikes in blood pressure, but that doesn't mean that you can't have meat at all.
If you like meat, you'd be better suited replacing your favorite beef dishes with pork tenderloin.
According to Prevention, pork tenderloin contains 15 percent of the potassium you need daily, as well as more than five percent of your recommended magnesium. Also, pork tenderloin has far less of the saturated fat and sodium that make many other meats detrimental to blood pressure.
2. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
When you're looking to make changes to your daily diet, consider the smaller aspects, especially caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. According to Mayo Clinic, dieting to reduce or prevent high blood pressure requires that men have two or fewer alcoholic drinks daily, while women should take in no more than one a day.
Mayo Clinic also says there isn't much long-term data available regarding the effects of caffeine on blood pressure. That said, caffeine acts as a stimulant and raises blood pressure briefly, so it should be consumed in moderation.
3. Select the right sweets
When dieting to reduce blood pressure, it isn't necessary to cut out sweets entirely. Still, when you do consume them, select low-fat, low-sodium, or sugar-free options. Also, keep this food group the smallest part of your diet, ideally taking in no more than five servings of sweets during any given week and paying careful attention to serving sizes. Read those labels!
What have you changed in your diet to reduce your blood pressure? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.