Sample menu for hypertension

Hypertension is a slowly progressing disease and is often diagnosed during unrelated medical examination. The common types of hypertension cannot be cured but can be controlled effectively by change in lifestyle, diet and medication, alone or in combination. With good control, a person can lead a quality life.

Diet is an integral part in the management of hypertension. Just by disciplining himself on his diet, he can reduce his medicine requirement and often even could get off medicine.

A low fat, low sodium and high potassium diet will help to lower high blood pressure. High intake of animal fat or hydrogenated oils, which contain saturated fatty acids, should be avoided.

Cholesterol rich foods such as liver, meat, organ meat, egg yolk, lobster, crab and prawns also should be avoided in the diet. Poultry with out skin are better than other types of meat. Dietary oils should consist of vegetable oil like corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.

Sodium can be restricted to 2-3 gm per day whereas potassium intake should be increased especially with patients who are on diuretics which do not spare potassium. Apricots, tomato, chickoo, watermelon, banana, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, brinjal and potato should be included in the daily diet since they contain low sodium and high potassium. Avoid baking powder and soda in all the preparations.

Avoid salty items like chips, pickles, canned and tinned foodstuff, salted butter and cheese, pappad, sea fish, dried fish, and salted meat. Hypertensive patients with kidney disease should avoid a high intake of potassium as it puts an excessive load on the kidney.

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