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Hypertension – Suffering From High Blood Pressure! Know What To Eat & What To Avoid

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Doctor Checking Blood Pressure of Patient (Representative Image, Photo by Pavel Danilyuk)

High blood pressure, defined as systolic pressure above 140 mm Hg and diastolic above 90 mm Hg. High blood pressure may sometimes be secondary to diseases of kidneys or endocrine glands like the ovaries, suprarenals or pituitary; this may respond to treatment of the cause.

Essentially hypertension is the most common disease of the industrialized societies, particularly among the middle and old age groups. It is a major contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and renal failure. The higher the systolic or the diastolic pressure, the greater the risk of coronary heart disease. 

DIETETIC MANAGEMENT

Kempner advocated a rice-fruit-sugar diet for high blood pressure that gave impressive results even in severe high blood pressure. Some authorities argue that the argument was due not only to the low protein, low fat, low sodium diet, but also due to the weight loss and rest under hospital conditions.

Calories

An obese patient must reduce to normal bodyweight with low calorie diet as recommended for obesity.

Proteins

A diet of 50 grams is necessary to maintain nutrition

Fats

It is advisable to avoid a high intake of animal fats or hydrogenated oils (vegetable ghee, vanaspati, margarine). About 40 to 50 grams fat, partly as vegetable oil, is permitted.

Carbohydrates

Easily digestible carbohydrates are of great help.

Minerals

The micronutrients affecting blood pressure are sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. 

Sodium (salt)

All patients with high blood pressure are advised to limit salt intake. 
Ideal Daily sodium intake:
Mild low sodium diet              : 2.3 grams
Moderately low sodium diets  :1.2 grams
Restricted low sodium diets   :0.6 grams

Potassium (salt substitute) 

Dietary potassium restriction increases blood pressure in patients with hypertension. If diuretics are administered to a patient with high blood pressure, supplements of fruit juices or potassium salts, such as 2 to 4 grams potassium citrate thrice a day, are administered. Increase in potassium intake is claimed to reduce blood pressure.

Calcium

Higher calcium intake raises blood pressure in some people

Magnesium

Indications are that magnesium is necessary to regulate blood pressure.

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