Diabetes is closely linked to high blood pressure due to its effects on vessels and circulatory system. This close relation makes a diabetic more prone to get an abnormally high blood pressure. In both disorders, diet has a pivotal role in relieving or exacerbating the intensity of disease. In diabetes, foods high in sugars directly affect the glucose levels within a few minutes of intake. In hypertension same goes for sodium and salts, which further increase blood pressure.
Hence, it’s important to follow an optimized diet according to your body and health needs. Such diet plan must be designed in such a way that it reduces both the aggravating factors of diabetes and hypertension. 1600-2000 calories are recommended in a day for such patients. Whatever you eat, always remember to restrict your salt content to 1500 milligrams or less to control your hypertension. Following is a brief description of useful diets to control both the diabetes and hypertension:
Diet tips for diabetes and high blood pressure
- Stop eating Pickles: Pickles are loaded with Salt and Oil, Hence it is wiser to avoid them
- Avoid ready made Soups : Ready Made soups also pack in lot of sodium, So it is important to do this.
- Are you a coffee lover ? limit yourself to only two cups a day because coffee contains cafestol which may increase your cholestrol.
- Add Rice Bran oil to your diet , Rice bran might help lower cholesterol because it contains the right amount of oryzanol which is an antioxidant. there are many more benefits of using rice bran oil
- Try to consume foods rich in pottasium, magnesium and calcium like Almonds, pistachio nuts, soy beans, peanuts, rice bran oil, apples, oranges, sesame, brinjal etc, banana is also rich in pottasium but it spikes your blood sugar instantaneously.
- Monitor your blood glucose and blood pressure often
- DASH Eating plan can give you a fair idea of what can you eat more
Starches: Starches are a type of carbohydrates and are abundantly included in cereals, bread, pasta, grains and vegetables like potatoes and corn. Starches are a very healthy diet and should be included in almost every platter of diabetics. There is a wide list of starchy foods so it’s easier to enjoy a variety of different tastes. Rice, beans, lentils, pasta, crackers and tortillas are all included in starches. Always go for unprocessed cereals and whole grain for maximum benefit. Processing takes away the natural goodness of foods.
Meat: Meat is rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins. It provides essential amino acids required for proper nutrition. Examples of meat and meat substitutes include eggs, chicken, fish, tofu, cottage cheese, turkey, peanut butter and lamb. Prepare meat in such a way that keeps them low in fats like steaming, grilling and broiling. Buy cuts of meat and remove the little fat over them. Red meat like beef are a big NO for hypertensive and diabetic individuals.
Vegetables: 1 cup serving of vegetables is recommended to get enough leafy nutrients. Veggies are low in carbs and great for health. Carrots, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, celery and green beans are advised for diabetics as they are gentle on stomach and pancreas. Eating raw vegetables or salads is best way to consume them. If you want to cook them, use olive oil or canola or other low fat oils instead of butter or shortening.
Milk: Dairy is not prohibited for both the patients of diabetes and hypertension. Milk provides calcium, vitamins and proteins and should be taken on daily basis. Recommended serving of milk is 1 cup daily. Always buy low fat dairy as it gives you all health benefits of dairy without giving you the side effects.
Fats and sweets: This is the cautious part where you must be very choosy regarding what you eat. Fats and sweets contain a lot of empty calories and are not good for diabetics. Excessive fats get deposited in the vessels leading to an increased risk of circulatory problems. Since vessels are already weakened owing to diabetes and hypertension, putting them under more stress is not fair at all. Examples of prohibited fatty foods include butter, salad dressing, cream cheese, pie, cookies, cake and bacon. If you have a strong craving for sweets, go for frozen yoghurt, fat-free ice cream and sugar free popsicles. Eat less fats and always order small sized ice cream cups.
Fruits: Bananas are worth mentioning here owing to their potassium. The potassium of bananas decreases the sodium and hence has a special role in decreasing salt content.
Hydration: Try to get hydrated. Using plain water and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices are best for such individuals.
Salt: Make sure your daily intake of salt doesn’t exceed 2.5 grams per day. Read the labels of the products before buying them. Always go for low salt foods.
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