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HBP Patient Guide

Monitoring, Treating, and Managing High Blood Pressure If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s very important to follow the treatment plan your healthcare provider gives you. This will almost certainly include changes to your diet and level of physical activity, and may include medication, too. Eating healthy For people with high blood pressure (and those at risk for it), a healthy diet is a must. There are many healthy diet plans available, but the best for high blood pressure include limiting sodium (salt) intake and including a variety of nutritious foods. One proven diet plan is called the DASH plan (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The DASH plan emphasizes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat protein sources (such as skinless poultry, fish, and legumes), lowfat dairy products, and whole grains. It is also low in sugars and red meat, and offers many other nutritional benefits. You can learn more about the DASH plan by visiting the website of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. As for sodium, you’ll want to limit your intake to no more than 1,500 mg per day, which is associated with the greatest reduction in blood pressure. How can you tell how much sodium you’re eating? By reading food labels. Be careful when you do so—many foods that don’t seem to be saltheavy may contain “hidden” sodium, especially canned foods. Fortunately, food labels give an accurate picture of how much you’ll ingest by eating that particular product. (continued) How Do I Follow a Healthy Diet? Fiber-rich whole grains (6 to 8 servings per day) • One serving equals: 1 slice bread; ½ cup hot cereal, 1 cup flaked cereal; or ½ cup cooked rice or pasta • At least half of your servings should be fiber-rich whole grains. Select items like whole-wheat bread, wholegrain crackers and brown rice. Vegetables (4 to 5 servings per day) • One serving equals: 1 cup raw leafy vegetables; ½ cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables; ½ cup vegetable juice. • Eat a variety of colors and types, especially deeply colored vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, and broccoli. Fruits (4 to 5 servings per day) • One serving equals: 1 medium fruit (about the size of a baseball); ¼ cup dried fruit; ½ cup fresh; frozen, or canned fruit; ½ cup fruit juice. • Eat a variety of colors and types, especially deeply colored fruits. Lean meat, poultry, and fish (no more than 6 cooked ounces per day) • A 3 oz. portion is about the size of a deck of playing cards, ½ of a chicken breast or ¾ cup of flaked fish. • Enjoy at least 2 servings of baked or grilled fish each week; especially fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout, and herring. • Trim fat from meats; remove skin from poultry. Nuts, seeds, and legumes (4 to 5 servings per week) • One serving equals: 1/3 cup or 1½ oz nuts; 2 Tbsp. peanut butter (no salt added); 2 Tbsp. or ½ oz seeds; ½ cup cooked legumes (dried beans or peas). • Choose no salted added or low-sodium varieties. Fat-free, 1 percent and low-fat milk products (2 to 3 servings per day) • One serving equals: 1 cup milk or yogurt or 1½ oz. low sodium, fat-free or low-fat cheese. ANSWERS by heart Lifestyle + Risk Reduction Diet + Nutrition Healthy eating habits can help you reduce three risk factors for heart attack and stroke — high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight. The picture on the right shows the basic food groups. Be sure to choose a variety of foods from each group and eat the number of servings we recommend. Following a Healthy Diet Click here to download and print this helpful sheet. 9


HBP Patient Guide
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