Maintain a Healthy Diet with High Blood Pressure
The things that you eat and drink can have a huge impact on your blood pressure. When you make healthy choices in your diet, you can better control you blood pressure. The key to start a healthy diet is to take baby steps toward improvement. Start by making one diet change at a time. Once you’ve managed the first change, you can add on another diet change.
Which Foods Should I Eat?
Eat heart-healthy foods, like the ones below to control blood pressure:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains (e.g., whole wheat, brown rice, oats or barley)
- Fat-free or low-fat (1% or less) dairy products
- Lean meats (e.g., skinless turkey, chicken or fish)
- Nuts, seeds, beans and peas
- Healthy vegetables oils (e.g., canola, olive or corn oil)
Which Foods Should I Limit?
Limit the foods below to avoid high blood pressure:
- Foods high in saturated fat (e.g., fatty cuts of beef, pork or lamb)
- Pre-packaged, processed and prepared foods
- Foods with added sugar (e.g., beverages, desserts or snacks)
- Foods with added sodium (salt), such as:
- Breads and rolls
- Cold-cut/cured meats (e.g., ham, bacon or beef jerky)
- Pizza and fast food
The American Heart Association (AHA) says that we shouldn’t consume any more than 2300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. Adults with high blood pressure should aim to consume no more than 1500 mg of sodium a day, especially because too much sodium increases blood pressure in many people. That’s why it’s so important to follow the guidelines above to maintain a healthy diet.
Can I Still Drink Alcohol?
While you can still enjoy a drink here and there, drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. The AHA recommends that if you drink, you should limit yourself to:
- No more than two drinks per day in you’re a man
- No more than one drink per day if you’re a woman
Below are some examples of what could count as one drink:
- 12 oz. can of beer
- 4 oz. glass of wine
- 1.5 oz. shot of 80-proof liquor
- 1 oz. shot of 100-proof liquor
American Hearth Association (AHA). Changes you can make to manage high blood pressure.