Neal Shanblatt, MD

Blood Pressure Diet
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Lower your blood pressure.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise regularly - start slowly, but aim for 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise 5-7 days of the week.  The best exercise is one that you enjoy doing and can fit into your schedule.

Limit salt intake  to less than 2000mg of sodium daily.   Don't add salt at the table, and avoid foods that taste salty.  Read labels to see what foods are high in sodium, but especially avoid salty snack foods, canned foods, processed foods, soups, cured meats, and condiments like mustard, soy sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and salsa.  White bread, rolls, and pizza are also high in sodium.  Look for sodium-free or low-sodium alternatives.

Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, soda).

If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink per day. 

Avoid black licorice.

Increase fiber intake.  Look for a high fiber breakfast cereal and other whole grain products. Vegetables, beans,  and short-grain brown rice are good sources of fiber.

Limit fat intake to less than 25% of total calories, or less than 50 grams of fat daily.

Limit cholesterol intake to less than 200mg daily. Cholesterol is found in all animal products like meat, chicken, fish, dairy products, and eggs.  Consider going "meatless" (vegetarian) most days of the week.

Monitor your blood pressure at home -- click here.

For more diet information to help lower your blood pressure, check out the DASH diet plan.