Diet and Disease Prevention Part 5

Your Diet and Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

High blood pressure can lead to stroke, which is the #2 cause of long-term disability in the US. It can lead to circulatory issues, and erectile dysfunction.

The following recommendations are a summary of the major research that has been carried out on what you can do to prevent high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke.

• Maintain a desirable weight for your height, build and age.

• Limit daily sodium intake in your diet to 2,400 mg, the equivalent of about 1G teaspoons of table salt (sodium chloride). To achieve a more dramatic reduction in blood pressure, restrict sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less each day, the equivalent of less than half a teaspoon of salt.
Be especially careful with prepared foods, which can be loaded with sodium. Always read the label, and also take into account how many servings are deemed to be in the package, and how much of it you are likely to eat.

• Increase intake of fruits and vegetables to get enough potassium. Aim for eight servings per day. Bananas are a particularly good source which can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch or dinner, as smoothies, as part of a sandwich, or even as dessert, as well as on its own.

• Consume two to four servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products each day for adequate calcium and protein. Milk can help you feel full at meals so you don’t overeat, or drink soda, and yogurt or cottage can be eaten for breakfast or lunch.

• Include plenty of whole grains, fish, and poultry in your diet.

• Restrict intake of fat, red meat, and sugary foods and drinks. Avoid pre-prepared foods and meals you have not cooked yourself. Avoid hidden salt, such as in soy sauce.

• Limit consumption of alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two per day for men. One alcoholic drink equals one 12-oz. beer, one 5-oz. glass of wine, or one shot (1H oz.) of 80-proof spirits. If you don’t drink, then don’t start.

Learn to fight Osteopenia and Osteoporosis in Diet and Disease Prevention Part 6