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Diets That Help Control High Blood Pressure

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1 Diets That Help Control High Blood Pressure on 2nd December 2009, 12:50 pm

Mediterranean Diet., the Mediterranean Diet includes healthy amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts, and limits red meats to avoid unhealthy fats. It encourages the use of monounsaturated fats (mainly olive oil) in cooking, which is traditional among people of the Mediterranean region. This diet focuses on the types of fat (healthy fats) consumed rather than the amount of fat. It also includes red wine in moderation — no more than a glass a day. The Mediterranean Diet is recognized for its role in reducing cardiovascular risk factors, one of which is high blood pressure.

The Ornish Diet. Developed by Dean Ornish, MD, this diet is an extremely low-fat, high-fiber, vegetarian diet. Less than 10 percent of calories should come from fat. Some research suggests that the Ornish Diet can lower cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, Frank says, but any diet that eliminates food groups may be difficult to adhere to and thus may not be ideal for everyone.

The South Beach Diet. Started by South Beach, Florida preventive cardiologist Arthur Agatston, MD, this diet is divided into three phases. Phase one restricts certain types of sugars and carbohydrates, fruits, and some higher-glycemic vegetables. During phase two, you continue with the restrictions from phase one but gradually add whole grains and fruits back into your meal plan. Phase three begins once a healthy weight is achieved and the focus is on maintaining your new weight for life. It may have some heart-healthy benefits but it is difficult to stick to, especially for life. The bottom line: Making a commitment to consume a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in fat and sodium can make play a huge role in reducing or even preventing high blood pressure Frank says.

Making dietary changes should be your first step to lowering your blood pressure.

However, Apovian cautions, even if you adopt a heart-healthy diet, if you suspect that you may have high blood pressure, you should consult a physician. Diet alone may not be enough. People who need to significantly lower their blood pressure may need drug therapy as well.

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