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High blood pressure: The best and worst cheese for reducing your hypertension risk

Fitness & Health:

When it comes to one’s diet, careful scrutiny is advised, and for cheese lovers this means even more careful planning. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and might not sound like a big deal, but it can set a person up for challenging health problems down the line. Ongoing symptoms of high blood pressure could lead a person to developing either a heart attack or stroke down the line. Foods consumed can either help or hinder the condition and when it comes to cheese, what is the best and worst for hypertension?

You don’t have to cut cheese out of your diet, but if you have high cholesterol or blood pressure, use high-fat cheeses sparingly, said the British Heart Association.

The health site continued: “A 30g portion of cheese provides seven per cent of your daily calories and there can be more salt in a portion of cheddar than in a packet of crisps.

“Cheese contains calcium and protein, so it can be OK in moderation, but remember low-fat yoghurt, tinned fish, tofu, lentils and beans are good sources of calcium and protein too.

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“Keep cheese portions small and weigh them to reduce temptation.”

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A large study called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) found that eating a certain way could lower blood pressure as much as taking blood pressure-lowering medicine.

Research has shown that the greatest reductions in blood pressure are observed with a diet that is low in salt, low in total fat and saturated fat, but rich in fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.

The DASH diet was able to reduce blood pressure by 5.5/3.0mmHg.

Low fat dairy foods such as milk, yoghurts, fromage frais and reduced fat cheese provide plenty of calcium which works with potassium to help lower blood pressure.

Mozzarella is one of the naturally lower salt, lower fat cheeses and half fat versions are also available.

Cheeses to avoid for hypertension

On average halloumi and blue cheese contain around 2.71g of salt per 100g while seawater has a concentration of just 2.5g per 100g.

Eating just a 50g portion of any of those cheeses contains around one quarter of an adult’s recommended 6g daily salt allowance.

When a person consumes more salt than they should, the kidneys holds on to more water.

This extra stored water raises the blood pressure and puts strain on the kidneys, arteries, heart and brain.

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products can help a person to lower their blood pressure readings.

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It is important to try and reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol from your diet as this plays havoc with readings.

Lifestyle plays an important role in treating high blood pressure.

If a person is able to successfully control their blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, they may be able to delay, reduce, or even avoid the need to take medication.


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