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The best diet for high blood pressure

The Medicare Diet: Best Diet for High Blood Pressure in Seniors

Posted on February 17, 2023 by Larry Johnson

Did you know certain Medicare plans can help you buy foods that make up the bulk of any great diet? Call us today at (800) 950-0608 to see if Medicare plans near you are currently offering grocery benefits.

High Blood Pressure Can Be a Major Issue for Seniors

There’s a reason hypertension and heart disease are called silent killers. They go hand in hand, and often present without severe symptoms until it’s too late. It’s a very common illness, with over 3 million cases diagnosed in the United States alone every year, according to the American Heart Association. Many of those cases are present in American seniors, as are cases of kidney disease and diabetes.

Odds are good that at least one out of four of you reading this suffer from high blood pressure. Odds are even higher that many of you suffering from high blood pressure who are reading this do not have it under proper control.

Prescription blood pressure medication and certain treatments can help keep blood pressure levels under control. However, the right diet can be a major factor in reducing high blood pressure levels in seniors. By finding and eating the right foods, you play a major role in controlling your hypertension and bringing your blood pressure back to normal levels.

Our Medicare Diet series is designed to help seniors create diet plans to help combat the symptoms of common medical conditions faced by those over the age of 65. Today, we’re going to help you create the best diet for hypertension (high blood pressure).

diet plan for high blood pressure in seniors

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is one of those medical conditions that is exactly what it sounds like it is. If you live with high blood pressure, also commonly called HBP or hypertension, the force of your blood against your artery walls is too high. It doesn’t always present with symptoms at first, but the worse it gets, the higher your risk of developing severe, life-altering symptoms becomes.

A diagnosis for high blood pressure typically comes if your blood pressure is found constantly to be above 140/90. Some medical professionals may diagnose you with hypertension if your blood pressure is found to constantly be 130/80. To put this in perspective, normal blood pressure is considered less than 120/80. Anything above that puts you at risk of developing high blood pressure.

If you find yourself presenting with some of the most common symptoms of high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to consult with a medical professional. Some of the most common symptoms of high blood pressure include:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Changes in vision
  • Buzzing in the ears

High blood pressure is a chronic illness that typically develops over time as a result of sedentary or unhealthy lifestyles. Some of the contributing factors in developing high blood pressure include:

  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet, including but not limited to, excessive sodium intake

High blood pressure isn’t curable, but it can be controlled. If you’re looking to control it, you can do this by putting together a proper eating plan for high blood pressure.

Creating a Diet for High Blood Pressure

Believe it or not, putting together a high blood pressure eating plan is easier than it seems; you don’t need to be a professional dietitian to make it work! A great high blood pressure diet is made up of foods that are low in unsaturated fats and sodium intake. For instance, excessive table salt, fried foods, or processed snacks would be way out of place on a diet plan aimed at reducing hypertension risk.

Some other foods to avoid when you’re creating a diet plan for hypertension include:

  • Canned foods filled with preservatives
  • Fatty meats (this includes most red meats)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Margarine
  • Excessive dairy product
  • High-sodium foods (pickles, potato chips, most mass-produced soups, etc.)
  • Frozen meals
  • Processed meats, such as mass-produced deli meat 

Now that you know some of the foods to avoid, what about choosing the right foods for high blood pressure? After all, that is the most important part of creating the best diet for your lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some of the foods that you should incorporate into a blood pressure-conscious diet.

best foods for high blood pressure in seniors

Choosing the Best Foods for High Blood Pressure

When you’re choosing foods to incorporate into a hypertension diet plan, you should look at foods that:

  • Aren’t processed
  • Are low in sodium intake
  • Are low in saturated and trans fats

In fact, it’s best to choose whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and lean meats, such as poultry or fish. To make up for losing the punch of salt, various natural herbs and spices can add plenty of flavor to any meal. Some of the best foods you can choose to make up a diet to combat high blood pressure include:

  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit*
  • Fish, such as salmon, flounder, or tilapia
  • Leafy greens, such as kale or swiss chard
  • Legumes and seeds (lentils, beans, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
  • Berries – some of the best choices are strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Carrots
  • Pistachios
  • Herbs and spices, such as cilantro, turmeric, cinnamon, basil, and ginger
  • Foods high in antioxidant, such as dark chocolate (in moderation!)

For many, making these necessary lifestyle changes may seem overwhelming, but lifestyle changes can be very fun and rewarding if you have the right attitude!

Now, the best part of any diet plan is putting some of these foods together to create delicious recipes! Below, you’ll find a recipe that’s perfect for seniors following this specialized diet plan.

*Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with certain high blood pressure medications. Please be sure to consult with your doctor before adding grapefruit to any diet plan to make sure it won’t have adverse effects on you.

best diet for high blood pressure

Recipe - Maple and Mustard Glazed Salmon

Fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, are an excellent choice for lowering high blood pressure in seniors. This maple and mustard glazed salmon recipe is a tasty choice for lunch or dinner! Just remember to choose a quality mustard that’s low in sodium intake.

Note: This recipe is designed to serve 4 people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of low-salt whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 4 – 4 ounce salmon filets, skin on
  • 1 pound of asparagus or tender stemmed broccoli

Directions:

Start by mixing your mustard and maple syrup to create a glaze for your salmon. Next, place your salmon filets, skin side down, on an oven-proof tray or grill rack. Spread your mustard and maple glaze over your salmon filets and cook for 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon, until fully cooked. As your salmon is cooking, steam your asparagus or broccoli until tender. 

Once it’s all finished, you’re ready to serve and enjoy!

The Best Diet Depends on Your Personal Preferences

There are numerous diets available for seniors with high blood pressure, and all of them claim to be the best. However, what works best for you depends on your needs and lifestyle. This includes creating a high blood pressure diet that meets your needs.

Are you finding it tough to afford some of the foods needed to combat high blood pressure in seniors? Certain Medicare plans offer assistance with purchasing healthy foods. To find out if a Medicare plan offering grocery benefits is available in your area, call (800) 950-0608 today to speak with one of our licensed agents.

About the Author

Larry Johnson

Larry is a content writer with several years of experience in creating informative content for a variety of industries on topics that matter. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

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