Hypertension

11 Jul 2015
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What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. Each time the heart beats (about 60-70 times a minute at rest), it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is at its highest when the heart beats, pumping the blood.

As per latest international standards, blood pressure readings in the range from 110-120 over 70-80 (110/70) (120/80)  to 140-150 over 90-100 (140/90) (150/100) is normal.

If your blood pressure is not within this range, you should be taking steps to bring it down or to stop it rising any further.

Dietary Management

The current nutritional therapy focuses on weight management, sodium control and general nutrient balance.

OBJECTIVE OF DIET THERAPY ARE:
  1. To achieve a gradual weight loss in obese and overweight inpiduals and maintain their weight below the normal weight.
  2. To reduce the sodium intake.
  3. To maintain adequate nutrition
  4. To achieve the above objectives, the prudent diet is further modified as below.

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Foods for High Blood Pressure

As low energy diets are essentially low-fat diets, the quantity of fat should be reduced. The diet has to be modified so as to raise the PUFA/SFA ratio to 1 or above. To achieve this, saturated fats should be substituted with polyunsaturated fats.

The diet for hypertensive patients is essentially a normal diet. The major modification is in the salt or sodium content. As no salt is to be used in cooking, the main aim in food preparation is to make it palatable by the use of alternate seasonings.

Good food sources of potassium should be included in the diet, especially for patients who are on drug therapy with diuretics. Some of the foods that are high in potassium but low in sodium are squashes, bananas, apricots and legumes, which can be included in the diet.

SODIUM RESTRICTED DIET FOR HYPERTENSION

EXTREME RESTRICTION 200-300 mg (9 -30mEq)/day(1 mEq = 23 mg) : No salt in cooking, low sodium foods in measured amounts. Conditions like cirrhosis of liver, edema, congestive heart failure etc. 

SEVERE RESTRICTION 500 to 700 mg /day : No salt in cooking, low sodium foods in measured amounts. Conditions like cirrhosis of liver, edema, congestive heart failure. (End-stage renal disease, edema, and patients not on dialysis)

MODERATE RESTRICTION 1000 to 1500 mg/day : No salt in cooking, avoid salty foods. Conditions like borderline hypertensive or as maintenance diet at home.

MILD RESTRICTION 2000 to 3000 mg/day

It can be easily maintained with the life style changes. A small measurable amount in cooking, no table salt, no salty foods.

MAJOR SOURCES OF SODIUM IN DIET

Common salt, meat, fish, poultry, Egg white, pickled vegetable, meat, fish, dry fish, canned vegetable, baked item, certain green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek leaves.

LOW SODIUM FOOD SOURCES : Fruits, unsalted cereals, unsalted butter, oil, sugar, puffed rice, broccoli, unsalted popcorn, cucumber, chickpeas etc.

OTHER SODIUM CONTAINING COMPOUNDS : Baking powder, baking soda, MSG, sodium acetate, drinking  water which  is softened alkalizes, laxatives, sedatives. 

SALT SUBSTITUTES : Meat and fish may be marinated in vinegar, low French dressing, lime juice before cooking. Low-sodium baking powder, unsalted butter in moderation, sugar, cinnamons, , tamarind extract, herbs, spices, onion, garlic etc. - -

POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN HAVING A HIGH BP:

  • To enhance the flavor and palatability of food use lime, vinegar, and tamarind in your cooking.
  • Include raw salads and tomatoes in your diet for variety and palatability.
  • Improve the palatability of your diet by the use of herbs, condiments, lemon, tamarind, amchur powder, garlic, ginger, green chills etc.

FOODS TO AVOID

Cooking salt, baking powder, soda bicarb, canned foods, cheese all varieties, sausages, pickles, commercial salad dressings and soft drinks containing sodium benzoate, soup cubes, proprietary drinks bourn vitta and chocolate drinks, dehydrated and pre-packed meals like ready to eat meals.

DONT'S

  • Salt in cooking or on table.
  • Sea fish, salted meat, salted dry fish, liver etc.
  • Salted butter and cheese.
  • All foods to which salt or baking soda has been added in cooking.
  • Pickles and Chutneys.


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