Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The High Blood Pressure Diet

One of the main causes for deaths in United States is diseases of the heart and blood vessels. People with hypertension, or high blood pressure, are the ones more likely to develop these diseases. Thus, it is most important to try and lower the elevated blood pressure.

Hypertension is incurable in most normal cases. However a successfully managed lifestyle along with proper medication could help you fight the disease. The main part consists in reducing the amount of sodium in your diet which helps to bring blood pressure levels down.

Changes in the diet
If food is appropriately selected a diet forhigh blood pressure can be varied and adequate in all nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.

The function of Sodium
Sodium is an essential mineral for good health. While an average American adult consumes 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams of sodium daily, the recommended daily limit for the general public is only 2,400 milligrams. A person with high blood pressure should consult a doctor to see how much sodium should be consumed daily. Normally, 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams (2to 3 grams) is enough.

The most common dietary source of sodium is salt. Sodium is one of two minerals that constitute salt (the other is chloride). One teaspoon of salt contains an enormous 2,300 milligrams of sodium and you can imagine an entire day's sodium consumption! This is not all; sodium is also "hidden" in your diet in other foods. The processed and packaged foods also contain sodium in varying amounts.

The Must Do's

ยท Read all food labels- Most sodium in the diet comes from processed foods. This makes it important for you to check the nutrition facts label for sodium content. Try to select only foods which are labeled as low-sodium, very low sodium, or salt-free, and keep away from products with high sodium content. Baked goods made with baking powder or baking soda can also be high in sodium.

- Reduce consumption of high-sodium processed foods - These products would include cured and smoked meats, and some pre-packaged, frozen and canned foods, most soups, and condiments.

- Beware of salt substitutes- You must keep in mind that not all salt substitutes are sodium-free. Read the labels, and if you take medication for your blood pressure, consult your doctor before using a salt substitute.

- Eat sufficient amounts ofpotassium-rich foods - Like sodium; potassium is a mineral essential for good health. It works with sodium to regulate blood pressure. Studies have proved that people who consume more potassium have lower blood pressures than those who consume less.

Thus to bring your blood pressure to the normal level you must consume adequate quantity of potassium. Rich sources ofpotassium includes fruits, such as cantaloupe, bananas, watermelon, oranges and orange juice, as also potatoes, spinach, and zucchini.

If you are interested in your health and well being then you will find some fascinating reading at:http://www.findhealtharticles.com/

15 Comments:

At 6:55 PM, Blogger CaptnSaj said...

I attended a Nutrigenomics lecture the other day and the guy from NIH said that only about 20% of the population is sensitive to sodium and will benefit from reducing it (based on their genes). In fact, too little sodium might cause problems.

There are a few companies that offer genetic testing to see if a person is vulnerable to certain diseases (cancer, diabetes, etc.) though I am not sure how accurate they are.

 
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