What to Eat When You Have Hypertension

Recently I was diagnosed with hypertension.  In layman's terns it's high bloodpressure.  Doesn't sound that bad does it?  Since that diagnosis I've educated myself.  hypertension is very serious.  It's the precursor to a lot of more serious conditions, none of which I want to have.  I do have a family history of high blood pressure and heart attacks so for me it's even more serious and not something to be ignored.

I've completely changed what I'm eating and how I'm cooking.  I've cleared out my kitchen of everything containing salt.  That means how I shop has changed.  Now I avoid all canned goods and anything in a box or prepackaged in any way.  When you start reading labels for salt content you realize quickly in order to avoid excessive sodium you have to buy fresh foods.

The biggest thing I've learned is that when you taste food and it taste really good....what you are tasting is salt.  Remove the salt from the food you eat and you'll see what I mean.  So, I've gotten really good an seasoning food with things other than salt.  Mrs. Dash has become my best friend.  It is salt free and really helps to make dishes taste good.

Here's what I ate this week and at the bottom of the post I'll list some books that I'm using to continue educating myself.

For breakfast I have oatmeal almost every day.  It's high in fiber and protein and you can add all sorts of things to it to change it up daily.


 
Blueberries are my favorite fruit to eat in my oatmeal.  This morning I added a tablespoon of fat free greek yogurt.



 
This morning I added chopped apricots and sliced almonds to my oatmeal.

 

 
This morning I again added blueberries and to add some variety I put a teaspoon of shredded coconut and slivered almonds.

 
Some mornings I eat one or two oat bran muffins.  These have blueberries and almonds in them.
 
 
Over the weekend I made a big pot of vegetable soup.  I used all fresh vegetables and I added some dry red beans.  After eating it once I decided it just was substantial enough so then I ate it over rice.  This is what I took for lunch several days.

 
I also cooked a crockpot full of red beans.  The key is using dry beans so you don't get any salt added.  I love beans and rice and on this day I took added some Mrs. Dash seasonings.  Perfect for lunch.

 
This is another variation of the beans and rice.  I had grilled up some meat for my husband, one of them being brat sausages.  They do have some salt so it was a splurge to chop one up and add it to my beans and rice.  So good, but I limit my meat consumption.  The may does have sodium in it, but I only used a teaspoon.

 
One day I chopped up one of the chicken breasts that I had grilled and made a sandwich to take for lunch.  The bread is key.  This is a nut bread that contains no sodium.  It's found in the freezer section of the grocery store and must be kept in the fridge.
 
Now for dinners.  I had a salad every evening.  I made my own dressing from olive oil, red wine vinegar and Italian seasons.  It's totally salt free.  I tried to change my salad slightly every night.  Some of the things I used to add variety are nuts, dried fruit, avocado, beans, wheat germ and different vegetables.  I baked a bunch of frozen, wild caught salmon fillets and had those with my salads.  No salt, healthy and delicious.
 
 
 






 
Here are some books that I've bought that I think are great:
 
Jane Brody's Good Food Book
The Simple Heart Cure by Chaunce Crandall, M.D.
Grill it, Braise It, Broil It by the American Heart Association
 
Diet is only part of the equation to treating hypertension.  I've been walking five miles a day five days a week.  I try to do a long hike on Saturdays, weather permitting.  I have a fitness tracker bracelet that I bought a couple of years ago.  I rely on it to keep track of how far I've gone, how many calories I've burned and how many active minutes I've had each day.  I high recommend tools like this.

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