Healthy nutrition for patients with hypertension

Avoid foods which are high in salt and reduce salt intake

If the blood contains increased salt, the kidney retains more water and excretes less water. The increased blood volume that results leads to an increase in blood pressure. The consequence: The blood pressure increases. If this happens on a permanent basis, the sufferer can develop high blood pressure.

What foods should be avoided?

  • Ready-made foods and canned foods
  • Salted biscuits
  • Pickled, salted and smoked meat and fish

 

How can the intake of salt be reduced?

  • Avoid flavour enhancers
  • Do not add additional salt
  • When preparing food, use fresh herbs and spices
  • Make do without salt, seasoning salt or spice blends
  • Keep an eye open for the sodium content of mineral water

 

Tips for low salt cooking:

  • Cook potatoes in their skins, not boiled with salt
  • Only add a little salt to the water for cooking pasta, rice and potatoes
  • Only salt meat after browning (roast meat) or when roasted
  • Steaming, cooking in foil and grilling helps food conserve its own flavour

Generally choose meals that taste good without salt!

 

Pay attention to the types of fats that you choose and reduce fat intake overall.

What should one pay attention to when choosing fats?

  • Avoid animal fats, such as butter, bacon and lard
  • Choose fats with a high level of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fatty acids (sunflower oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil, linseed oil or soy bean oil)

How can the overall intake of fats be reduced?

  • Choose low-fat food
  • Choose low-fat ways of preparing food (e.g. coated pans, grill foil, etc.),
  • Skim off solidified fats when preparing soups and sauces.

 

Choose foods which are rich in potassium and fibre

Diets which are rich in potassium and fibre
A diet which is rich in potassium and fibre leads to a modest reduction in blood pressure.
Potassium causes an increase in water excretion, which leads to a relaxing of the blood vessels and a reduction in blood pressure.

Foods which are rich in potassium are:

  • Wholemeal products
  • Potatoes
  • Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, lamb’s lettuce, button mushrooms
  • Nuts, dry fruit, bananas
  • Fish

 

By soaking vegetables in water or cooking them for longer periods, the potassium diffuses into the liquid. If this is not re-used but thrown away, the potassium is lost as well.

Dietary fibre basically leads to the food being chewed for longer and more thoroughly. It has a filling effect in the stomach, the blood sugar rises more slowly and digestion is regulated. A diet which is high in fibre may help to prevent gastro-intestinal disorders (e.g. constipation, colonic cancer, hemorrhoids, etc.), metabolic disorders (e.g. obesity, diabetes) and cardiovascular disease (e.g. arteriosclerosis, hypertension).

Foods which are high in fibre are:

  • Cereals (spelt wheat, oats, wheat)
  • Vegetables (brussels sprouts, carrots, fennel, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Pulses (lentils, peas, beans)
  • Fruit (apple, orange, banana, kiwi fruit, etc.)
  • Nuts (hazel nuts and peanuts, pistachios, etc.)

 

Ensure that the supply of energy is customised

It is important to avoid ‘empty calories’ as they promote obesity. These include alcohol and sugary drinks/food. In addition, it is important that one aims for and maintains a normal weight, physical activity is crucial in this respect.