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Diet for Hypertension / High Blood Pressure Home / Diet for Hypertension
The average hearts beats almost 90,000 times per day. With each beat, the heart expels blood into the arteries – strong, muscular tubes that carry blood to all parts of body, branching into smaller and smaller tubes along the way. When the heart beats, it generates force, which is transferred to the blood. As blood leaves the heart, it carries this force with it into the arteries. This force pushes on the walls of the arteries and the arteries push back, helping to propel the blood forward into the body.


This force also causes pressure within the arteries, which is called Blood pressure. Blood pressure measurements consist of two numbers. The systolic pressure is measured while the heart is contracting, and is the larger of the two numbers. The diastolic pressure is measured while the heart is relaxing, and is smaller than the systolic pressure. Normal Blood Pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures are important determinants of cardiovascular risk, so both are used in evaluating overall blood pressure status.

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) by itself may or may not be present as a symptom of a serious ailment but is a strong risk factor for developing a wide range of medical problems like heart attack, kidney failure, or even brain hemorrhage.

Objective of dietary modifications for person suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension is to maintain adequate nutrition, to reduce the sodium intake, to achieve a gradual weight loss in overweight individuals and maintain their weight slightly below normal weight and to restrict fat (if required) depending on the lipid (fat) profile.

Objective of dietary modifications for person suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension is to maintain adequate nutrition, to reduce the sodium intake, to achieve a gradual weight loss in overweight individuals and maintain their weight slightly below normal weight and to restrict fat (if required) depending on the lipid (fat) profile.

Following dietary management could be adopted for controlling high blood pressure.

  • Energy needs to be restricted in case of overweight individuals. Even normal weight individuals benefit with a slight reduction in energy.
  • A normal protein intake is suggested. Excess amount of proteins should be avoided, as these foods are usually high in animal fat as well as sodium.
  • As low energy diets are essentially low fat diets, the quantity of fat should be reduced. Fats should be of plant origin including soya oil, groundnut oil, sunflower oil and corn oil. Fats from animal origin such as ghee, butter etc. should be restricted. Restrict fried and fatty foods.
  • Emphasis should be placed on including foods high in complex carbohydrates such as starches and dietary fibre rather than simple sugars.
  • Salt needs to be restricted during cooking or at the table. Processed, canned or bakery products and variety of ready to eat meals, sauces and spreads needs to be avoided.
  • Food should be made in a way that it is palatable even with lesser amount of salt or even without salt. Variety of condiments (low in sodium) and flavouring agents such as lemon, vinegar, tamarind extract, onion, garlic, spices, etc. can be used to improve the palatability of salt free food.
  • An adequate potassium and calcium intake is an essential part of treatment. This can be done by including sufficient amounts of milk, fruits and vegetables.
  • Restrict smoking and alcohol intake.

Get yourself a tailored diet plan for high blood pressure.