Diet plan for overweight hypertensives

Some of the best clinical results achieved in an overweight hypertensive are through weight loss. When the weighing scale shows the digits tumbling down, so will you see the blood pressure measurement lowering towards a healthy level. Just as with the newly discovered diabetic, the overweight hypertensive patient may try dieting and exercise before considering medication.

Even being moderately overweight by 5 to 10 kg increases the risk of early death. Having a BMI > 30 increases this risk 50 to 100%. Need anything be said further? Fortunately, this risk may be lowered by reducing just 5 to 10% of the present weight. Those who benefit from weight loss are
a) Those who have hypertension or prehypertension
b) Those who are overweight, obese or at the upper limit of normal range
c) Those who have other risk factors along with being over weight
d) Those who are overweight and have had a heart attack or stroke

The following 1800 kcal diet plan should help you to reduce weight and high blood pressure. It lays emphasis on whole grains and a fruit menu with no sugar or salty foods. All foods are cooked at home. The fats in the menu should come from nuts, oilseeds, fish and mono or poly unsaturated fats.

Breakfast: One cup wheat upma with vegetables and coriander and peanut chutney, one large orange and a cup of tea (fat free milk, no sugar)

Midmorning: One grapefruit or 2 small guavas

Lunch: One cup steamed brown rice, one cup vegetables sauteed or curry, 2 cups of salad greens, three ounces of grilled fish, one cup fat free yoghurt, 100gms of fresh papaya and watermelon cubes

Snack: An ounce of unsalted walnuts or mixed nuts, tea or coffee

Dinner: 2 whole wheat rotis, dal curry, ½ cup baby carrots with lemon juice and herbs, one cup of fresh fruit salad

Bedtime: 1 cup fat free milk mixed with one tablespoon of wheat bran

Use minimum oil in cooking. Keep salt in cooking to a teaspoon a day.

Use daily a variety of fruits from red grapes, banana, oranges, papaya, watermelon, muskmelon, peaches, guava, grapefruit, raisins (2 tablespoon equals a fruit), pineapple, apple, custard apple etc.

Tomatoes are healthy both raw and cooked. So use it in curries, chutneys and salads. Go for okra, aubergine, bittergourd, squash and such native vegetables.

The only snacks permitted are fruits, cucumber or carrot sticks, unsalted corn cob or microwave popped popcorn, unsalted pretzels, unsalted nuts and seeds.

Try eating this way without fail for a month and you can never get back to eating greasy or sugary foods!

Parvathy R Krishnan

The author is a trained Nutrition & Dietetics expert with over 20 years’ of experience in hospitals like Vijaya Hospital in Chennai and the Armed Forces Hospital and New Mowasat Hospitals in Kuwait. She is presently a member of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. Parvathy blogs at

More by this author:

How to reduce weight with your own diet

Spacing carbs and meals for better glycemic control

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