What you eat affects your blood pressure

GEHA | March 14, 2022

Nutrition Blood pressure
Nutrition plays in important role in controlling high blood pressure.

Did you know that healthy foods can help lower your blood pressure? If your blood pressure recording is 140/90 or above, you have high blood pressure. A heart-healthy diet is suggested for people with high blood pressure, including those on blood pressure medications.

Doctors and nutritionists recommend eating foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium because these nutrients can help control blood pressure. They also advise limiting foods that are high in sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.

Follow these tips for a heart-healthy diet:

  • Read food labels and choose low-sodium or no-salt-added options
  • Cut back on fried and processed foods
  • Limit sweets, added sugars and commercially prepared baked goods
  • Use sodium-free spices or flavorings instead of salt
  • Don’t add salt when cooking
Eat foods that are naturally low in fat:
  • Lean cuts of meat, skinless poultry, fish and eggs
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Citrus fruits and berries: grapefruit, oranges, lemons, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
  • Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables: leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, celery, tomatoes and tomato products, beets, beans and lentils (be careful of the amount of sodium in canned vegetables)
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes: peanuts, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, chia and flax seeds, cooked legumes (beans or peas)
  • Whole grains instead of white flour or pasta products
  • Monounsaturated oils such as olive or canola oil

Controlling high blood pressure is an important step in preventing heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease and in reducing the risk of developing other serious conditions.

How can you help manage your blood pressure? 

To help keep your blood pressure under control, practice a healthy lifestyle and take all medications as prescribed by your doctor. Remember to get your routine health screenings. During the screening, talk to your doctor about managing your blood pressure. GEHA covers the cost of adult routine health screenings for all medical plan members at 100%. To schedule your screening, contact your primary care physician or visit geha.com/Find-Care.


Sources:
“DASH diet: Healthy eating to lower our blood pressure.” mayoclinic.org, Mayo Clinic, 25 June 2021.
“High blood pressure and diet.” medlineplus.gov, Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine, 4 February 2022.
“The 17 Best Foods for High Blood Pressure.” healthline.com, Healthline Media, 14 December 2021.
“10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication.” mayoclinic.org, Mayo Clinic, 24 February 2021.