Dietary Management of Hypertension (ANC-1)



Diet plays a major role in dealing with all kinds of hypertension. Mild hypertension can be controlled by making necessary changes in diet alone whereas moderate and severe hypertension needs proper medication in addition to dietary changes. Since in dealing with moderate and severe hypertension, one should consult a dietitian and physician to monitor diet and medication to keep blood pressure under control. 

The main areas that need attention while making modification in the diet of a person suffering from mild hypertension is to control the intake of fat and energy. Most important thing that needs to be checked in case of a hypertensive patient is his/her intake of sodium. Sodium (common salt) has a direct impact on the blood pressure levels of a person. Controlling these three menaces, that is, fat, energy, and sodium intake of hypertensive individuals has amazing effects on his/her blood pressure levels.

The main source of sodium in our diet is common salt. Apart from that there are some other sources that include sodium that has an effect on human being.

  • Baking powder/baking soda.
  • Some of the preservatives and taste enhancers like monosodium glutamate. 
  • Food items like green leafy vegetables, milk, egg white, poultry, meats, sea foods, pulses and some spices.


In some cases, restriction of salt intake helps in controlling the blood pressure, but in some cases patients are supposed to restrict the consumption of food items which has sodium in them. A normal person with no complaints of hypertension can consume 3-4 grams to a maximum of 10 gram of salt a day while hypertensive patients should control and reduce the amount of salt to 2-2.5 grams a day. By following some simple measures mentioned below, we can cut down the salt intake to considerable levels.

  • Cook food with low salt.
  • Stop using salt in cooked food.
  • Less use of preserved food items with high sodium content like pickles, chutney, ketchup and canned food items.
  • Avoid high salt food items such as butter, chips, fast foods etc.
  • Avoid medicines and food items which mention sodium as the main component.

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