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Struggle with High-Blood Pressure? Try this “DASH” High-Blood Pressure Diet Plan!

Struggle with High-Blood Pressure? Try this “DASH” High-Blood Pressure Diet Plan!

If your blood pressure is constantly 140/90, or higher, that means you have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Since it mostly does not display any symptoms, the only way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to measure it regularly and visit the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” for a reason – you don’t feel any symptoms, but it can do a lot of damage to your body. It puts additional pressure on your heart and blood vessels, and may lead to several serious complications such as:

  • Aneurysm
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease

Having a high blood pressure requires changes in your lifestyle, with the diet being one of the aspects that can greatly influence this condition.

How food influences your blood pressure

Some types of foods can aggravate your blood pressure. You should stay away from foods that contain a lot of salt. You should reduce the daily intake of sodium to 1,500 mg. Furthermore, stay away from sugar, as it leads to obesity which in return increases the blood pressure. The American Heart Association advises limiting  the intake of alcohol to one or two drinks per day as this also causes the increase in blood pressure.

Foods that are high in potassium, magnesium and fiber should be a part of your high blood pressure diet as they can be natural remedies that help you normalize the blood pressure. There is a vast range of fruits and vegetables rich in those nutrients, thus you can easily incorporate them into your dietary plan.

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Foods that increase your blood pressure Foods that help normalize blood pressure
Canned soups Bananas
Pickled vegetables Apricots
Deli meat Potatoes
Frozen pizza Spinach
Sweets Green beans
Canned tomato products Beets
Red meat Oatmeal

Regulate your blood pressure with DASH diet

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a dietary plan that aims to reduce the foods that can spike up your blood pressure and it introduces various types of food that contain nutrients that can bring benefits to people suffering from high blood pressure. It was designed by the USA National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with the aim to reduce blood pressure but it was found helpful with weight loss, reducing cholesterol and controlling diabetes, and for six years in a row it has been proclaimed as the best diet by US News and World Report.

The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat or nonfat dairy, whole grains, lean meat, fish and poultry, nuts and beans. It follows recommendations on the sodium intake and the consumption of healthy nutrients. It has been evaluated by numerous researches.

The DASH plan includes:

Type of food Number of servings for 1600 – 3100 Calorie diets Servings on a 2000 Calorie diet
Grains and grain products
(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)
6 – 12 7 – 8
Fruits 4 – 6 4 – 5
Vegetables 4 – 6 4 – 5
Low fat or non fat dairy foods 2 – 4 2 – 3
Lean meats, fish, poultry 1.5 – 2.5 2 or less
Nuts, seeds, and legumes 3 – 6 per week 4 – 5 per week
Fats and sweets 2 – 4 limited

High blood pressure diet plan

With many available recipes, it is easy to incorporate DASH plan and to have a diversified high blood pressure diet that suits your taste.

Breakfast

Applesauce French Toast

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What you need:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-sweet applesauce
  • 6 slices of whole wheat bread

How to prepare:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and soak the bread slices, then cook them over a lightly greased skillet until they become golden brown. Serve it with some light yogurt.

Lunch

Pizza in a Pita

What you need:

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  • 2 pieces of whole wheat pita bread
  • 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese low on sodium
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • Vegetables of your choosing

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven at 3500F (or 1800C). Split the bread into two pieces and put the tomato sauce, cheese and vegetables. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Serve it with some nonfat milk, and treat yourself with some cantaloupe afterwards.

Snack

Blueberry muffins

What you need:

  • 1 – 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of raw oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of dry milk
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup of frozen blueberries

How to prepare:

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Preheat the oven at 3500F (or 1800C). Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in two separate bowls. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix a little, then add the blueberries and mix again. Put the mixture into a muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.

Dinner

Brown rice burgers

What you need:

  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 cup of finely grated carrot
  • ½ cup of finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

How to prepare:

Mix all ingredients, except the vegetable oil, in one bowl, and divide the mixture into 12 patties. Put the vegetable oil into a skillet and heat it. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side. You can serve the burgers with side dishes such as baked potato, or a salad, such as a tomato spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Treat yourself with some delicious fruit afterwards.

Before taking any actions in treating your high blood pressure, you should consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and get some helpful medical advice.

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/ via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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