Foods to avoid with High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure cannot be cured, but it can usually be controlled and by doing so you'll lower your risk of other complications like congestive heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure etc. Keep high B.P under control simply by making a few lifestyle and dietary modifications.
41 Indian Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure
4 Lifestyle Modifications to Lower Blood Pressure
Most of us lead unhealthy lifestyles with minimum physical activity, erratic and unwholesome meals, and several other bad habits. Just a few simple changes in lifestyle can help to control high B.P.
1. Lose weight if you’re overweight and try to maintain your ideal body weight. To do this, be more physically active and follow a regular exercise regime (at least 30 minutes a day). A regular exercise programme may help lower blood pressure over the long term. For example, activities such as jogging, bicycle riding, or swimming for 30 to 45 minutes daily may ultimately lower blood pressure by as much as 5-15 mm Hg. Remember however that only aerobic exercise programmes have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.
2. Quit smoking.
3. Banish alcohol.
4. Manage stress through relaxation techniques, regular exercise and a positive attitude.
8 Dietary Modifications to Lower Blood Pressure
Food habits these days are more a matter of convenience than following a sensible diet. We tend to eat all the wrong things because we lack time or the inclination to cook wholesome meals. To regulate high B.P make these important changes in your daily diet.
1. Say ‘no’ to excess fat and sugar!
2. Eat a healthy and a well balanced diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol as fat is the main culprit for causing blocks in the blood vessels.
3. Restrict the fat content (oil + ghee) to only 3 teaspoon per day. Use measuring spoons to be accurate and to keep a watch on your fat intake.
4. Choose healthy cooking methods like baking, steaming, and roasting instead of frying and shallow frying and avoid deep fried foods and fat-laden processed foods like bread, biscuits, khari, etc.
5. Think carefully about your food choices if you dine out frequently. Don’t get tempted by the high-fat or sugary options.
6. Opt for low fat milk and milk products to keep a check on your saturated fat intake. We have used skim milk powder to make low fat milk and milk products in our recipes. Alternatively can make low fat milk at home. All you need to do is boil the milk and skim the fat layer (malai) that is formed after it has cooled. Repeat this procedure atleast twice or thrice to get almost low fat milk. Note that buffalo’s milk is low in sodium as compared to cow’s milk hence prefer the former than latter.
7. Restrict the intake of calorie-laden nuts and oilseeds like almonds, pistachionuts, cashewnuts etc as excess calories can lead to obesity, a major cause of high B.P.
8. Restrict the intake of sugar by avoiding extra table sugar in your diet. Avoid high-calorie and sugar-laden foods like cakes, puddings, cookies, ice cream, chocolate, soft drinks, canned fruits, syrups, readymade juices, etc.
6 Ways to restrict your sodium intake:
1. Keep salt out of sight at mealtimes to avoid the temptation of sprinkling some over cooked food.
2. Try to avoid adding salt to chapati dough, rice, salads etc to further cut back on your sodium intake.
3. A more sensible option is to measure the amount of salt you add to food to ensure your intake is within the prescribed limit.
4. Avoid foods with excessive preservatives and salt such as ready-to-use sauces, ketchups, pickles, chutneys, dressings, and soya sauce; processed foods like bread, cheese, chips, and papad; foods containing MSG (mono sodium glutamate); breakfast cereals; and canned foods.
5. Do read the labels to check for salt and sodium content of store-bought food. Do not get misled by labels that say ‘low sodium’ or ‘salt free’. Check the sodium content instead.
6. Use low sodium salt or salt substitutes like spices, herbs, and garlic to add flavour to your food.
Although these restrictions are highly individualistic the basic limits for sodium intake are as follows:
• Mild restriction: 2,000-3,000 mg/ day (1 – 1½ tsp salt)
• Moderate restriction: 1,000-2,000 mg/ day (½ - 1 tsp salt)
• Severe restriction: Less than 1,000 mg/ day (¼ - ½ tsp salt)
You can use these values to calculate your sodium intake per day:
• 1/8 tsp salt = 290.62 mg sodium
• ¼ tsp salt = 581.25 mg sodium
• ½ tsp salt = 1, 625 mg sodium
• ¾ tsp salt = 1,743.75 mg sodium
• 1 tsp salt = 2, 325 mg sodium
Do’s for Lower Blood Pressure
1. Lose weight if overweight.
2. Always cook food with measure amount of salt.
3. Restrict the intake of salt to ¼ tsp – 1½ tsp per day depending on the severity of high blood pressure.
4. Use low sodium substitutes like spices, herbs and garlic to add flavor to your food.
5. Make so called ‘fruits and vegetables’ (from the allowed list) your meal friends. They contain calcium and potassium, which help to regulate high blood pressure.
6. Add a dose of fibre to your diet by including a bowl of sprouts daily. This helps to remove excessive fat and cholesterol from our body.
7. Be physically active. Exercise for at least ½ an hour daily.
8. Have your medication in prescribed amounts daily.
Add a dash of fibre to your diet
• Fibre helps to remove excessive fat and cholesterol that would otherwise block the blood vessels, leading to high B.P.
• Include more whole grains, pulses and sprouts in your daily diet to get your share of fibre.
• Try to avoid refined flour (maida) and its processed products like breads, biscuits, pasta, noodles etc. They are low in fibre and high in sodium and preservatives that can increase B.P.
• Eat fresh fruits and vegetables liberally to meet your daily fibre requirements. Apart from being low in sodium (refer to table below on what to avoid), they are also low in calories and high in fibre, and help to maintain weight. They contain vitamins and minerals like potassium and calcium, which help regulate blood pressure.
Keep a watchful eye on your sodium intake
People suffering from high B.P have to restrict their sodium intake depending on their blood pressure levels. Refer to the table of Ready Reckoner for Sodium Content of Foods given below for a list of foods to be avoided.
SALT is at the top of the list of sodium-rich offenders, and unfortunately we all find it quite difficult to do without this ingredient in our cooking. But, better late than never! While it is a good idea to cut back on the amount of sodium you and your family consume, keep in mind that a sudden switch from salt-laden foods to foods prepared with no salt will probably win few converts. Plan to cut back on sodium over the course of a few weeks or even months and remember that your goal is not to get your sodium intake to zero but to restrict it to suitable levels.