Nutrition Related Diseases

What is hypertension?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the arteries when the heart circulates blood through the human body. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure are the two pressures taken into consideration when measuring blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure forced onto the arteries while the heart is pumping, while diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in between heartbeats (thus when the heart is at rest). If this pressure on the arteries become higher than 140/80 mmHg, it is considered a high blood pressure and patients will then be diagnosed with hypertension.

Dietary management of high blood pressure:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  2. Drink enough water
  3. Use healthy cooking methods
    e.g. steam/ grill/ fire/ roast food in the oven
  4. Cooking mediums
    olive oil/ canola oil/ cook ‘n spray
  5. Remove the skin/ fat from meat BEFORE COOKING
  6. Have 2 fresh fruits per day
  7. Choose wholegrain/ brown bread/ rice/ pap/ grains instead of white
  8. Include beans and lentils in your diet
  9. Include healthy fats in moderate amounts into your diet
    e.g. olive oil/ nuts/ seeds/ avocado/ fish
  10. Limit sweet treats to only once a week
  11. Alcohol should be limited to 1-2 drinks twice a week
  12. Reduce sodium or salt intake
    • Do not cook with salt or add any salt on the food at the table
    • Avoid foods high in salt (Spreads, stock cube blocks, cured meat, cold meat, sausages, prepacked foods, tinned foods, powders, herb mixes with added salt, salted nuts and seeds, salted biscuits, salted biltong, drywors.
    • Keep sodium intake below 1500 mg per day.
    • Choose food low in sodium (less than 140 mg per serving).
    • Watch out for these names on food labels, i.e. other names for sodium. Baking soda, baking powder, monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium phosphate or salt, sodium.
    • Rinse tinned beans and vegetables under cold water - preferable do not use tinned.
    • Do not use salt, rather flavour food with Rosemary, oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, paprika, ginger, garlic, black pepper, chilli powder, lemon zest, curry spice.
    • Use citrus juice and vinegars in place of salt in sauces and marinades.
    • Use less baking soda or baking powder as they are high in sodium.
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