What should I include in my diet to control high blood pressure?

  • Eat foods that are lower in fat, salt, and calories, such as skim or 1% milk, fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole grain, rice, and pasta. (Ask your doctor or healthcare provider for a more detailed list of salt-free foods to eat.)
  • Use flavorings, spices, and herbs to make foods tasty without using salt.
  • Avoid or cut down on butter and margarine, regular salad dressings, fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, fried foods, processed foods or fast foods, and salted snacks.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you should increase potassium in your diet or if you need to take a potassium supplement.
  • Discuss the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet with your healthcare provider.

How can I be more active?

  • Check first with your healthcare provider before increasing your physical activity. Ask your provider what type and amount of exercise is right for you.
  • Choose aerobic activities such as walking, biking, or swimming.
  • Start slowly and increase activity gradually. Aim for a regular routine of activity 5 times a week for 30 to 45 minutes each session.
  • Activity can be done in 10-minute sessions to add up to the 30-45 minutes total.

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