If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure you may not be sure what to do from a nutritional perspective. The most important thing that can directly impact your blood pressure is sodium intake. For the average person, the RDA, or Recommended Dietary Allowance is 2300mg per day. For a person dealing with HTN, the recommendation is not to exceed 1500mg of sodium daily. Compliance with following a 1500mg sodium diet can be quite challenging because it’s easy to get ALL your days sodium from ONE can of soup or ONE restaurant meal! Following some tips of how to reduce sodium intake to better manage High Blood Pressure:
- Ditch the salt shaker: Salt provides flavor, and if you are used to salting all of your foods, taking the salt shaker away can feel frustrating at first. The good news is your palate can absolutely get used to it!! However, if you must add some salt to your food, be sure to use Himalayan Sea Salt. This is naturally lower in sodium, tastes better and provides some minerals that regular table salt does not provide. Also, use other herbs and spices to help flavor your food. You would be amazed how much garlic, chili powder, pepper and cumin can spice up a dish!
- Watch out for hidden sources: Canned goods, processed meats, frozen meals, condiments and dressings, and of course restaurant meals, all have hidden sources of salt. Always read labels and remember a brand’s “low-sodium” version is only based off of THEIR higher sodium products!
- Dining Out Tips: Ask for sauces on the side whenever possible and add the sauce yourself. You will not only save on sodium but also excess calories and sugar. For instance, Chinese food is notoriously high in sodium. By asking to put your brown sauce on the side, you will eliminate a ton of extra salt and it still will be flavorful!
- Hydration: Water helps to excrete excess sodium out of the body. Be sure to drink at least HALF your body weight in ounces of water every single day, no excuses!
In addition, it is important to make a note of how STRESS impacts blood pressure. Did you know that 75-90% of all doctors visits are somehow related to stress? These days we live in a state of chronic, unrelieved stress and it’s impacting our health big time! Be sure to work on reducing your stress levels by practicing DAILY stress-relieving activities such as reading, silent or guided imagery meditation, physical activity, good sleep habits, yoga, and deep breathing. Remember to try not to sweat the small stuff! A good question to ask yourself is “Will this matter 5 years from now?”, and if your answer is NO, move on and try not to give that topic any energy.
Hungry for more? Book a Telehealth Nutrition Appointment with one of Inspire Nutrition’s skilled Registered Dietitians! We can help navigate your plate and help balance your life so you feel your best! Most insurance plans accepted! Book your appointment online at: www.inspirenutrition.com