Healthy eating prevent you from a lot of diseases and also control diseases such as blood pressure. What you eat and drink can have a real effect on the health of your heart and blood vessels. A healthy diet will help to keep them in good shape, reducing your risk of future health problems. What you eat and drink can also directly affect your blood pressure. In general, the healthier your diet is, the lower your blood pressure will be. To help keep your blood pressure down, it is important to keep to a healthy diet.
Healthy eating and blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, it is even more important to look closely at your diet. If you make healthy changes to what you eat and drink, this can help to lower your blood pressure.
To help lower your blood pressure you should try to:
- Eat less than six grams of salt a day as this is healthy eating
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- Drink no more than two to three units of alcohol a day
- Avoid foods that contain a lot of saturated fat
Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body will raise your blood pressure. An adult should eat no more than six grams of salt a day, but most of us eat almost twice that amount. Most of the salt we eat is not what we add to cooking or at the table. Around 80% of the salt we eat is in prepared foods like bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits and ready meals.
ways to eat less salt
- Look out for low-salt recipes. There are a number of low-salt cookbooks available, or you can search for recipes on the internet.
- If you really want a salty flavor, use a small amount of low-sodium salt substitute. If you have kidney problems or diabetes, check with your doctor or nurse first.
- Smoked meats and fish contain a lot of salt. Avoid these if you can.
- Bread and breakfast cereals can contain a lot of salt. Check the labels to compare brands.
- Table sauces like ketchup, mustard and pickles can contain a lot of salt. Check the label and choose low-salt options.
- Get extra flavor with herbs and spices, and from seasonings like chilli, ginger, lemon or lime juice.
- Try not to add salt when cooking. This includes things like soy sauce, curry powders and stock cubes.
- Don’t be too concerned about the exact amount of salt you eat. Six grams a day is the recommended maximum, and the less you eat the better.
- At first, food without salt can taste bland, but don’t give up. After a few weeks your taste buds will adjust and you will start to enjoy food with less salt.