Not so fast there! Before you head to the fridge and attack everything you can find, there’s something you should know. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and you’re on chronic medication, eating right can help bring your blood pressure down. So, let’s get started…
So, what’s all the fuss about healthy eating?
Glad you asked. The food you eat has a direct result on the blood pressure you are trying to control. Newsflash - most people don’t know how many calories they consume each day. You might still chow down like a teen in the middle of a growth spurt, and you’re a forty-something. There's also salt, salt is your worst enemy if you are trying to maintain a healthy BP. So, how do you get some sort of control?
One easy way is to carry a matchbox in your pocket, pop it on your plate for size reference, whip out your phone and take a shot of your plate. Then, start cutting down your portion sizes. Compare pics in a few weeks, and you’ll be shocked at how much you used to eat. Eating like a King isn't the best of ideas for blood pressure control. Bummer.
Not so fast... Food :)
We get it, you are busy. Plus there is a KFC in 500 metres!! Before you swerve in traffic and place your order lets have a chat.
It's convenient and yes it's tasty but what do you know about how your favourite fast food was prepared? The main things to worry about would be salt, oil and fat content - not just for High blood pressure but for a host of other health related factors. A home cooked meal is likely to be waaaaaay more healthy for you in the long run.
We are not completely banning fast food (deep breath) - All we're saying is that its a habit you should probably watch very closely.
Pro tip - it turns out that home cooked meals work out cheaper as well :)
Easy changes you can make right now…
A high-sodium diet increases blood pressure in a lot of people. The less sodium you consume, the better you’ll be able to control your high blood pressure.
So let's make it simple… for this week:
- Cut the salt (sodium)
- Avoid canned foods, processed foods, lunch meats, and fast foods
- Use salt-free seasonings
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise daily – start with skipping :)
- Take your medication – and don’t skip a single dose!
Give the DASH diet a try
The Americans have come up with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. It’s essentially a Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy. These foods are high in key nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, dietary fibre, and protein. Find out more about the DASH diet here.
There’s just one more thing before you go…
Eating healthy and of course, getting enough exercise are just two ways to control your blood pressure. And, the other is listening to your Doctor’s advice and taking your meds daily. Pointless giving your Doctor high blood pressure from worrying about your health, make it easy on the both of you. Simply download the Memo Health Assistant app, get a daily reminder to take your meds at the right dose and time each day. Easy as that! Get the free app for Android here.