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Welcome to Whitsons’ community blog forum! We believe it is important to get involved with our team members, clients and customers, as well as create a space for information exchange, interesting perspectives and interactive communications.

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High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

Posted by Katherine Ancona
Katherine Ancona
Katherine Ancona is a Registered Dietitian for Whitsons Culinary Group. She received her Master’s Degree in Fo...
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on Monday, 15 May 2017 in Health & Nutrition

HighBloodPressureAwarenessAbout one third of Americans have high blood pressure. This number can easily be reduced through a balanced and healthy diet. Here at Whitsons we want to make sure that you have all the tools necessary keep your blood pressure right where it is supposed to be!

 

When you eat a diet that is heart-healthy it cannot only help you to manage your blood pressure, but also decrease your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, and certain cancers.  It is important to consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat/reduced-fat dairy, lean protein, nuts, legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils. Secondly, it is also helpful to eat a diet that is low in sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugary beverages. Eating nutritious foods that are naturally heart healthy is greatly beneficial for both you and your blood pressure.

 

There are many ways to keep your blood pressure low and your heart at its healthiest. First, read the nutritional facts panel on foods and beverages. Try to consume foods those that have less than 200 mg of sodium per serving, as well as those that are naturally low in salt. This includes eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables; especially those that are fresh, frozen, or canned in water without any added sugar, trans fats, or salt. Deeply colored produce such as spinach, carrots, and broccoli contain a great amount of anti-oxidants that are most beneficial for keeping blood pressure at safe levels. Now is the perfect time to try new produce since a great deal of it is now in season!

 

Whole-grains are also essential in a heart healthy diet. Try to eat more foods with 2-3 grams of fiber per serving; this includes whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat pasta. You should be getting between 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day, so make sure to keep at least half of your grains whole. Also, eat more lean protein sources such as skinless poultry and fish. When preparing meals and snacks try to stay away from adding extra salt, and use fresh herbs and spices to flavor the foods instead. Healthier ways to enjoy these items are through grilling, baking, or roasting. Eating unsalted nuts, seeds, and legumes that are high in healthy fats as well, can help to keep blood pressure at a normal level. When you consume a diet with a variety of these foods, this can help you to keep you and your family at their healthiest!

 

There are more ways to manage your blood pressure, other than your diet. First, try to decrease your stress levels. Find an activity that helps lower your stress (yoga, playing a sport, painting, etc.). Doing a physical activity for at least 30 minutes at least 3 days a week can help as well. Since the weather has finally warmed up, it is perfect weather to walk or run outside!

 

Overall, try to keep your daily intake of sodium to less than 2000 mg per day. Stay with a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, as well as healthy fats. Prepare foods with little to no salt, and look for items with less than 200 mg per serving. Reducing stress and regular physical activity can also help to decrease blood pressure.

 

Contributor: Katherine Ancona, R.D.

 

Reference:

www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author and should not be construed as the opinions of Whitsons Culinary Group or any of its affiliates.  All content and material contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, and no representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.  It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual.  It is not medical advice and should not be treated as such.  You should not rely on the information in this blog as a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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Katherine Ancona is a Registered Dietitian for Whitsons Culinary Group. She received her Master’s Degree in Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science from Clemson University in 2013. While attending Clemson University, she led a team of undergraduate students in modifying recipes to be healthier. She is most interested in wellness, pediatric, and culinary nutrition, and she also serves as a volunteer for the Kids Eat Right Campaign. Katherine completed her dietetic internship at Oklahoma State University in 2014, and began working for Whitson’s Culinary Group as a Registered Dietitian in August of 2016.

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Guest Wednesday, 26 July 2017