It can help us manage our weight better and reduce our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers and chronic kidney disease.
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This is why foods that are high in saturated fats, added salt, added sugars or alcohol are called discretionary choices. They also tend to be low in fibre and important nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Dietary Fats | American Heart Association
These foods are important for celebrating and social occasions, but should be limited to small amounts and only eaten sometimes. The Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australian Guide to Healthy Eating have been reviewed to make sure they are based on most current scientific evidence. This means they can be used to assess popular claims about food and health and to work out what is true.
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It can be tricky when different people are giving conflicting advice about healthy eating. It can be hard to know what to believe. Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, even if you don't have hypertension, so everyone should monitor alcohol intake.
Women should limit themselves to one drink a day, while men should consume no more than two drinks a day. Keep in mind that "one drink" is a 5 ounce oz glass of wine, 12 oz beer, or a small amount of hard liquor 1. More research is needed to determine what role, if any, supplements may play in lowering blood pressure. Supplements include:. Talk with your doctor before taking any of the above, since some supplements can interact with medications and cause deadly side effects. Everyday Health Heart Health Hypertension. If your blood pressure is high, your doctor might ask you to follow a special diet.
These foods may include the following: Fruits Vegetables Whole grains Fat-free or low-fat dairy products Fish Poultry Nuts DASH limits the following: Red meats including lean red meats Sweets Added sugars Sugar-containing drinks While your doctor will help tailor the DASH diet to your needs, the following is an example of the recommended servings from each food group for someone on the diet who is consuming 2, calories a day. What About a Mediterranean Diet? Common characteristics of a Mediterranean diet include the following: High consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds Olive oil as a common monounsaturated fat source Dairy products, fish, and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts Little red meat is eaten Eggs are consumed zero to four times a week Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts U.
Get Plenty of Potassium Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells, and not getting enough can lead to too much sodium in your blood. Supplements include: Fiber, such as blond psyllium and wheat bran Minerals, such as calcium and potassium Supplements that increase nitric oxide or widen blood vessels, such as cacao, coenzyme Q10, or garlic Omega-3 fatty acids 5 Talk with your doctor before taking any of the above, since some supplements can interact with medications and cause deadly side effects.
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Resources We. American Heart Association. November 13, Mayo Clinic.
The Food Pyramid
April 10, High Blood Pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. February 2, Mediterranean Diet.