If you’re someone who loves your butter chicken and biriyani, hypertension diagnosis can come as a huge blow to you. A non-vegetarian diet that is high in unhealthy fats and low in nutrients are discouraged by experts, for effective hypertension management. But giving up completely on your preferred diet is not practical, nor is it going to be as effective, when you feel restricted.
While there is evidence that shows that following a plant-based diet can improve hypertension by 34%, there are still ways to follow your non-vegetarian diet and better your health.
Keep reading to find out about the best tips for doing so:
Pick from lean, healthy sources of meat
When choosing the components of your healthy diet, picking lean and healthy cuts of meat can go a long way. Red meat has always been associated with increased health risks and higher fat content due to its high saturated fat content. Chicken, turkey and fish are great sources of protein that can give you the necessary nutrients, without any of the additional fat. If you have the option to choose healthier variants of these – such as grass-fed chicken, or organically sourced fish – that is your best health bet!
Avoid processed meat and dairy in your diet
While it may be tempting to have some sausages with your eggs, or add a slice of processed cheese to your meals, avoid doing so. While these foods are easy to consume, they are also filled with additives like sodium, which can cause further health complications. These products go through multiple levels of processing, which can significantly lower its nutritional value.
Ensure a healthy balance at each meal
No matter what type of meat you choose to consume, it has to be paired with a healthy mix of vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Following such a healthy balance is recommended for everyone, not just hypertensive patients. Consuming fibre and nutrient-rich vegetables and carbohydrates can help in lowering the harmful effect of meat in your body. These can help the body digest the meat better, and help keep your disease well managed.
Watch the fat for your hypertension
Whether you choose healthy sources of fats or otherwise, it is important to restrict the amount of it being consumed. This can be about the oil that is used in cooking or even the fat content that is present in the meats. If you’re consuming chicken or red meat, you can even cut off more fatty sections.
Be careful of how you cook your food
When talking about fats, the conversation about cooking methods also needs to be had. There are several great cooking methods such as grilling, baking, or stir-frying, which are healthy, and tasty. While it may be tempting to deep fry, or roast meat, these methods require a lot of fats, which can cause further complications for those with hypertension.
While it is easy to talk big about changing your diet, it is not easy to follow through. Most of the people who make drastic dietary changes face difficulty in sticking to the diet in the long term. But having a well-defined plan, and putting your research skills and questioning capabilities to good use, can help a lot in the long run.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your next appointment about the best ways in which you can improve your current condition and better your overall hypertension. Your doctor can help you in finding dietary approaches that are great for your health and your dietary preferences. They can also guide you towards further resources where you can learn more about your condition, and create more informed lifestyle choices.
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