Finding your new doctor is easy. We can help.
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
FollowMyHealth®
Driving Directions
Cart
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

Best diet for hypertension

Sept. 26, 2018

Best diet for hypertension

High blood pressure — or hypertension — is a problem for 1 in every 3 American adults. This means that approximately 75 million people in the U.S. are at risk for heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death in the U.S.

Blood pressure — the force of blood on the sides of the arteries that carry blood from your heart through your body — normally rises and falls throughout the day. However, if it stays high for too long, it can damage your heart and lead to serious health problems.

Unhealthy behaviors, such as eating foods high in sodium and low in potassium, can increase your risk of hypertension. This is why Dr. Sabrina Falquier, an internal medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy, believes in using food as medicine to improve your health.

“I have conversations with my patients daily about how to empower their health through food,” she says. “It is not uncommon for a patient to leave my office with a recipe in hand.”

According to Dr. Falquier, there is much you can do with your diet to improve your blood pressure without, or in addition to, medications. To start, she shares the advice of Michael Pollan, an award-winning author and journalist who writes about culinary science and medicine: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

“Although it is seven simple words, they hold so much truth,” Dr. Falquier says.

However, Dr. Falquier recognizes that it can be confusing trying to determine the best way to eat to improve your health — so confusing that we often fall for quick-fix, drastic diets.

“Yes, you may lose weight in the short term, but quick-fix diets are usually hard to sustain and can have long-term negative health consequences,” she says. “You have to ask yourself what is your goal — quick weight loss that you will likely gain right back, or long-term improved health?”

If your goal is to improve your diet and your health, Dr. Falquier offers the following seven tips:

  1. Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits with every meal.
    They can be fresh or frozen, though avoid canned when possible, as they usually contain added salt or sweeteners. Vegetables can be served raw, roasted or grilled.

  2. Choose grains wisely.
    Fill one-quarter of your plate with whole, rather than processed, grains such as quinoa, farro, barley, amaranth, teff, freekeh, oats or whole-wheat pasta. If you are a rice lover, consider choosing red, brown or black — also known as forbidden rice — instead of white rice. When craving bread, stick to whole-grain breads with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

  3. Consider other sources of protein.
    Fill one-quarter of your plate with a protein of your choice. Try eating more plant-based protein sources — such as beans, nuts and legumes — and limit red meats, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

  4. Eat fats, but choose wisely.
    Fats are part of a healthy diet, but the type of fat makes a difference to your heart health. Getting fats from plant sources is best. Eat olives, avocados and nuts, and use olive oil to make dressings, sautés or roast vegetables. Avoid trans fats, which are found in margarine, snack foods, packaged baked goods and fried fast foods.

  5. Stay hydrated.
    Choosing water for hydration over soda, sugar-sweetened coffee drinks or juices — which fill you with empty calories and can change your taste buds to seek out ultra-sweet foods — is best. Adjust your palate by moving toward drinks with natural sweetness from berries or other fruits, and soda will soon likely taste too sweet.

  6. Get your calcium from products other than milk.
    The emphasis on having dairy products in our day-to-day diet is primarily to provide needed calcium. Calcium sources other than milk include leafy-green vegetables, certain mineral waters and nuts. If you do eat dairy products for your calcium, plain yogurt is best because it gives you the benefit of gut-healthy probiotics and is a good protein source.

  7. Limit the amount of sodium in your diet.
    The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium — the equivalent of a little over one-half teaspoon of salt — per day for most adults, especially those with hypertension. Frozen meals and fast food often contain a salt content far beyond any health recommendation; read the labels. Use herbs and spices instead of salt to season your meals and enhance flavor.

Along with improving your daily diet, Dr. Falquier recommends a daily exercise routine. “Just move your body — 30 minutes a day of walking, running or even dancing can have a tremendously positive effect on your health,” she says.

Try Dr. Falquier’s recipes for a delicious Overnight Oat Breakfast Parfait and Vegetarian Italian Hash. Follow her on social media, under SensationsMD.

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us

1-800-827-4277

If this is a life- or limb-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately.


Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth
Optional


Find other numbers

View our phone directory

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your Sharp hospital account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process hospital price estimates if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

To learn more, call us at 858-499-5901.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.