Dietary Intake For High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is elevated blood pressure. WHO defines hypertension is a condition in which systolic pressure exceeds 160 mm Hg and diastolic pressure exceeds 95 mm Hg. This article helps you know about the dietary intake for high blood pressure.

With diastolic pressures of 100 or more therapy should be initiated with drugs as well as diet. High blood pressure is not a disease but only a symptom indicating that some underlying disease is progressing.

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure.

Dietary Principle

Low calorie, low fat, low sodium with normal protein intake is prescribed.

Dietary Management

Earlier Kempner’s rice fruit diet was suggested for blood pressure. This diet is very restrictive, deficient in many nutrients.


An obese patient must be reduced to normal body weight with low calorie diet. About 20 kcal/kg ideal body weight are prescribed for a sedentary worker and 25 kcal/kg of body weight for moderately active worker. Alcohol consumption should be reduced.


A diet of 60g protein is necessary to maintain proper nutrition. In severe hypertension, protein restriction to 20g as advocated by Kempner may be necessary as a temporary measure since protein foods are rich in sodium.


As they are prone to atherosclerosis it is advisable to avoid a high intake of animal or hydrogenated fat. About 20g vegetable oil is permitted.


Easily available carbohydrate is of great help in the management of high blood pressure.


Increased intake of sodium in diet leads to increased intravascular volume and thus increases cardiac output, elevated blood pressure. Also, at the cellular level, increased intracellular sodium is exchanged for increased intracellular calcium with its potent effects of augmented vascular tone and vascular hypertrophy with resulting persistent hypertension.

Restricted sodium and a decrease in the sodium/ potassium ratio in the diet is preferred.

Moderate sodium restriction 2-3 g/day reduces diastolic pressure 6-10 mm of Hg and enhances the blood pressure lowering effect of diuretic therapy American Heart Association prescribed 2g for mild and 1g sodium for moderate levels. Recent studies have shown that sodium restriction accompanied by weight reduction can effectively control mild or moderate arterial blood pressure. Restrictions for a moderate low sodium diet of 1000g.

Pregnant women with toxemia need a moderate rather than low salt intake.


Potassium role in hypertension is actually the result of a complex interplay with sodium, calcium and magnesium found in all living cells and in blood. For example, low levels of potassium cause the body to retain sodium and water and this can elevate blood pressure. Research suggests that the risk of stroke, a common consequence of high blood pressures, relates inversely with the amount of potassium in the diet and the lowest risk is among the high potassium low sodium group. 3500mg of potassium is required daily. Fruits and Vegetables should be taken liberally to meet potassium requirement.


Some preliminary studies have shown that as the intake of calcium increased the incidence of hypertension declined. Calcium is involved in the control of the strength with which blood is pumped by heart and with the amount of resistances in the flow of blood in the veins and capillaries both of which contribute to blood pressure.