Saturday, December 4

Hypertension and diabetes: 6 basic dietary habits for good control

People with diabetes are significantly more likely to have other chronic diseases and one of the main ones is hypertension. There is quite alarming data in this regard: two out of three people with diabetes also have high blood pressure. Although medical follow-up is essential, making changes in lifestyle and especially in eating habits is essential in the good control of these two chronic conditions.

Hypertension is considered a silent enemy (since it generally does not produce symptoms) it is a condition in which the force exerted by blood against the walls of the arteries over time is high enough to cause health problems . Therefore, the more blood the heart pumps and the narrower the arteries, the higher the blood pressure. The truth is that it is one of the antecedents most related to heart disease.

Both hypertension and diabetes are diseases that are increasing and are more recurrent in modern society, that is why they are closely related to lifestyle. The truth is that when it comes to taking care of our health and preventing diseases, everything influences: stress management, quality of sleep, level of physical activity, mood and of course, the quality of diet. That is why one of the most relevant prevention and control measures is a good diet management: consumption of nutritious foods, a good carbohydrate count, less salt and sugar consumption. In addition, there are some eating habits that are a great ally for the best long-term results.

1. Add spice and spices to your meals

One of the main dietary restrictions in diabetic people with hypertension, is the restriction in the consumption of salt: they should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, it is less than a teaspoon. The reality is that in most cases people exceed this consumption by much and worst of all is that they are not aware of it, since excessive salt is hidden in most ultra-processed foods and fast foods. A good option to reduce its consumption without losing the flavor in meals is to use spicy and spices, they are medicinal and a great ally to retrain the taste buds. It is also very important to create the habit of cooking at home and supplement the use of salt with healthy seasonings such as: citrus zest, garlic, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, jalapeno peppers, chipotle, red chili peppers, oregano, coriander, parsley and cumin.

Chiles./Foto: Shutterstock

2. Control your meals, create the perfect dish

To get into the habit of having a balanced diet, it is essential to anticipate the balance of nutrients in the plate. One of the best recommendations from diabetes specialists, is to visualize the avocado as a clock: Fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of lean proteins like baked fish, salmon, beans, or chicken, and the last quarter should contain grains, preferably whole grains, like brown rice. This scheme is known as MyPlate, it is the nutrition guide of the United States Department of Agriculture and in which a balanced consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy products. Although it will still be necessary to be in control of carbohydrate consumption and watch your sodium intake, it is an easy method to ensure optimal nutrition.

Healthy plate
Healthy dish./Photo: Pexels

3. Find substitutes for coffee

Coffee is a healthy drink, which can be consumed by people with diabetes. However, it is important to consider that caffeine can raise blood sugar and blood pressure. Therefore, in people prone to these types of alterations, it is important to limit caffeine consumption to 200 milligrams. It is the equivalent of two cups of black coffee a day, of course without sugar or dairy such as milk and cream. A good recommendation is avoid the French press or espresso and go for coffee made with a paper filter. The paper absorbs an oily compound in coffee beans called cafestol, which can increase cholesterol.

Drink coffee
Drink coffee. / Photo: Pexels

4. Eat more seeds and grains

It is important create healthy, colorful, filling and fiber-rich meals, seeds and whole grains are the best ally to achieve it with ease. Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals, in addition to containing fiber, which enhances satiety and above all helps to stabilize blood sugar. The recommendation of the experts is to bet on the consumption of three to five servings of grains per day and at least half of those servings should be whole grains. Some good, sustainable replacements: Swap out white rice or pasta for items like amaranth, barley, bulgur, quinoa, and brown rice. There are also good options for whole grain breads, it is important to avoid white bread and industrial pastries.

Quinoa salad
Quinoa salad. / Photo: Pixabay

5. Eat more bananas

Bananas are a good source of potassium. It is well known that potassium plays an indispensable role in the control of blood pressure, since naturally reduces the effects of sodium and thereby reduces hypertension. In general, it is advisable to increase the consumption of foods rich in potassium and fortunately there are good alternatives: melon, broccoli, raw carrots, lentils, potatoes, whole wheat bread, bran flakes and walnuts. It is important not to exceed the consumption of potassium, since it can affect diabetic people with hypertension, who also present renal problems.

Banana smoothie. / Photo: Shutterstock

6. Identify healthy fats

By now we all know that there are many types of fats, by choosing healthy sources we significantly benefit the health and functioning of organs and systems. It is important promote the consumption of fats from plant foods, knowing how to select the best sources that even promote good control of sugar and blood pressure. Such is the case of olive oil, avocado and oil, dried fruits, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia. As an aside, saturated fats, such as those found in skin-on chicken, butter, and cheese, they should represent less than 10% of your daily calories. The most important thing will be to avoid trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils found in fried foods, and baked goods. It is also important to limit your consumption of saturated fats, which are mainly found in fatty cuts of meat, cold cuts, and whole dairy products. In general, unhealthy fats are linked to an increase in cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease.

Walnuts. / Photo: Shutterstock

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