the abc of a good health
Saturday, April 24, 2010
What to Eat If You Have High Blood Pressure
The doctor must have explained the benefits of regular exercise, prescription medications and stress reduction. But your doctor might not counseled you about the role of dietary fiber in a low-blood pressure regimen.
Here are some tips you need to know about high blood pressure and dietary fiber.
WHAT IS FIBER, ANYWAY?
Fiber is simply the un-digestible cellulose of the plant foods you eat every day. Nutritionists classify fiber as either "soluble" or "insoluble" and both types are helpful when it comes to managing high blood pressure. Not only do fiber-rich fruits and vegetables tend to be lower in saturated fats than meat-based foods; they can also help you feel full faster. You may actually find that you eat less of the high-fat foods you may crave.
But fiber does more than just help you with portion control or help you feel full after a meal. A 2007 study found that people who adopt a diet rich in dietary fiber tend to have larger, more open arteries than people who eat diets lower in fiber.
Perhaps the best news is that the fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber are usually also good sources of nutrients like omega fatty acids, folate and other heart-protective substances.
HOW MUCH FIBER SHOULD YOU EAT?
The American Dietetic Association recommends that Americans interested in the heart-protective actions of fiber consume more than 20 grams of dietary fiber per day. That's about twice as much as the typical American diet provides.
To get more fiber in your diet, try to consume at least 2 cups of fruit per day and more than 2 cups of vegetables. Snacks like air-popped corn, nuts and whole-grain cereals can also add a substantial amount of fiber to your diet.