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to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
It isn’t easy to change your eating
habits, but with these tips, you can
adopt a healthy diet:
Keep a food diary.
Writing down
what you eat, even for just a week,
can shed surprising light on your true
eating habits. Monitor what you eat,
how much, when and why.
Consider boosting potassium.
Potassium can lessen the effects of
sodium on blood pressure. The best
source of potassium is food, such as
fruits and vegetables, rather than
supplements. Talk to your doctor
about the potassium level that’s best
for you.
Be a smart shopper.
Make a
shopping list before heading to the
supermarket to avoid picking up
junk food. Read food labels when you
shop, and stick to your healthy-eating
plan when you’re dining out, too.
Cut yourself some slack.
the DASH diet is a lifelong eating
guide, it doesn’t mean you have to
cut out all of the foods you love. It’s
OK to treat yourself occasionally to
foods you wouldn’t fnd on a DASH
diet menu, like a candy bar or
mashed potatoes with gravy.
4. Reduce sodium
in your diet
Even a small reduction in the sodium in
your diet can reduce blood pressure by
2 to 8 mm Hg. The recommendations for
reducing sodium are:
Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg)
a day or less.
A lower sodium level — 1,500 mg
a day or less - is appropriate for
people 51 years of age or older,
and individuals of any age who are
African-American or who have high
blood pressure, diabetes or chronic
kidney disease.
To decrease sodium in your
diet, consider these tips:
Track how much salt is in your
Keep a food diary to estimate
how much sodium is in what you eat
and drink each day.
Read food labels.
If possible,
choose low-sodium alternatives of
the foods and beverages you normally
Eat fewer processed foods.
chips, frozen dinners, bacon and
processed lunch meats are high in
Don’t add salt.
Just 1 level
teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of
sodium. Use herbs or spices, rather
than salt, to add more favor to your
Ease into it.
If you don’t feel like
you can drastically reduce the sodium
in your diet suddenly, cut back
gradually. Your palate will adjust over
Jan/Feb 2012