1. Reduce your SODIUM intake.
Too much sodium in your diet can contribute to high blood pressure and make your blood pressure treatment less effective. Simply reducing your sodium intake to 2.3 grams (6 g table salt) daily can decrease your blood pressure.
The average American consumes 6-18 grams of table salt daily (about 3 teaspoons). The body only needs 200 mg daily. That is 30 times less than what American’s typically consume.
To be heart healthy, sodium intake should be reduced to less than 2300 mg (1 teaspoon) daily.
Quick tips to cut back on sodium:
- Don’t add salt when boiling water.
- Leave the salt shaker off the table.
- Read food labels to avoid foods high in sodium.
- Avoid foods high in sodium, such as gravies, cheese, and soy sauces.
2. Increase your POTASSIUM intake.
Potassium works to balance out the sodium in your diet. An adequate potassium intake can lower systolic pressure ~4.4 mm Hg and diastolic pressure ~2.5 mm Hg.
Good potassium sources:
Cantaloupe, bananas, dates, nuts, oranges, and green leafy vegetables
Maintaining an adequate intake of potassium is especially important if you are taking diuretics. Some diuretics increase potassium loss via the kidneys.
3. Add more MAGNESIUM to your diet.
Research has shown an inverse relationship between magnesium and blood pressure. In other words, individuals with a high magnesium intake, typically have a low blood pressure.
Good sources of magnesium include:
Peas, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lima beans, squash, broccoli, spinach, and seafood
Supplemental magnesium of ~500 mg can effectively lower blood pressure. Some studies have found magnesium supplements to reduce systolic blood pressure 2.7 mm Hg and diastolic 3.4 mm Hg. Discuss all supplements with your MD!
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
Heart Healthy Tips