High blood pressure if left unchecked results in increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and leads to target organ damage such as LVH, retinal changes and vascular changes. The main objective in the management of hypertension is prevention of target organ damage and reduction of cardiovascular risk. The management requires a multi-prolonged approach. Although it is widely accepted that drug therapy is essential for optimal Blood pressure control, it should not be forgotten that nonpharmocological measures are also important in the management of hypertension.
What are the foods to be avoided in high blood pressure? This is very common question my patients often ask me. On one hand, it is exceedingly complicated and complex and has been the continued focus of research by doctors and physicians. On the other hand, the vast majority of dietary recommendations for hypertension have resemblance and similarities to general healthy diet recommendations.
Following Foods should be avoided if you have High blood pressure:
The association between alcohol and high blood pressure is well documented both in population and clinical studies. An Alcohol intake of about 80 g/day (Equivalent to four pints of beer) has been shown to raise Blood pressure particularly in patients of hypertension. Blood pressure tends to fall when alcohol is stopped or reduced and remains low in patients who continue to abstain. Patients with hypertension should avoid Alcohol. As alcohol can raise blood pressure directly, is also an important factor in damaging walls of blood vessels, which can elevate the blood pressure further and make it more difficult to treat, while at the same time increasing the risk of complications. Limit consumption of Alcohol to no more than two drinks per day in most men and one drink per day in women and lightweight men.
A restriction in dietary sodium intake can reduce the incidence of hypertension. Studies have shown that there is a clear relationship between dietary salt intake and Blood pressure and people who consume less salt have a smaller rise in Blood pressure with advancing age. Salt restriction to about 100mmol/day (2.4 gm sodium or 6 gm sodium chloride) has been shown to produce a significant reduction in systolic Blood pressure to about 8-14 mm Hg in several randomized placebo-controlled studies. In some people, eating too much salt can make blood pressure much worse and In other cases the same salt consumption may have no effect.
More salt intake will result in more retention of fluid by kidneys and this will lead to more preload on heart, that will result in more blood pressure. You should avoid salt in your diet if you really want to control your blood pressure. If you are already a patient of hypertension, then reduce salt in your diet as it just accentuates the problem. You can lower your blood pressure to a great extent if you reduce salt consumption in your diet. You should not have more than 6 grams (100mmol/day) of salt per day. Pizza, canned foods, frozen diners, broths, canned soups and salad dressings have high sodium so try to avoid these foods. If you are non-vegetarian then make sure you are including white meat like chicken and fish rather than red meat in your diet.
Food that is rich in fats should be avoided. Foods High in Fat are as follows
Fats and oils (like margarine, vegetable oils, butter, lard, salt pork, meat drippings, gravy, and fat back)
Cream, ice cream, Whole milk, 2% milk.
Most pies, pastries, cakes.
Most cheeses (like cream cheese, cheddar, American)
Many snack foods (like nuts and chips)
Fatty meats (like corned beef, regular ground beef, ribs, sausage, hot dogs, bacon, bologna, salami,)
Fried foods (like French fries and fried chicken)
Most cookies contain high fat content
Many fast foods are also rich in fats
Saturated fats are not good for heart and blood vessels. Low density lipoprotein LDL is main factor which causes thickening of blood vessels so causing extra strain on blood vessels in patients of high blood pressure. The balanced high blood pressure diet should include mild amounts of saturated and trans-fats (red meat, fast food), and moderate amounts of other fats (olive oil and canola oil).
4- Caffeine Intake: The evidence from the literature is rather conflicting and the effects of caffeine seem to depend on multiple variables such as daily dose, preexisting Blood pressure and coffee drinking habits. The ingestion of 250mg of caffeine has been shown to cause an increase in systolic blood pressure ranging from 6mm of hg in normal individuals to 10 mm hg in patients with hypertension and an increase in diastolic blood pressure of 5 mm hg in normal individuals to 8.5 mm Hg in patients of hypertension.
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