A diet for high blood pressure ... is there such a thing? Should blood pressure sufferers really spend all their time and effort trying to change their diet and food intake? Surely it's easier just to take medications?
The answer (in my view at least) is both a yes and a no.
Several attempts have been made to publish so called diets for high blood pressure. The best known of these is called the DASH diet and is sponsored and published by the National Institute of Health in the US.
Others have published diet books and cook books on the subject.
In truth, I think it's more important to find your own way with this and to work towards a diet that suits your lifestyle but acts to lower your blood pressure at the same time. I don't really think there is one diet for blood pressure - not one that suits all of us anyway.
You need to follow these key guidelines - and then tailor the rest to suit your own needs:
- keep salt to a mininum - and try to go one or two days each week with no salt at all if you can
- reduce meat and increase vegetables
- aim for low fat and high protein diets
- try to use your diet choices to lose weight
- aim for high levels of omega 3 or omega 6 oils (that's fish oil to you and me)
- increase vitamin C and try to choose foods with high magnesium contents