Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

HTN Diet

A healthy diet for hypertension includes:

  • Control calories:
    • Eat just enough calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat quality fats:
    • Use virgin olive oil and other unsaturated, low-cholesterol fats.
    • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats
  • Eat the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and protein:
    • Limit your fat intake to 20 or 30 percent, but don't substitute simple carbohydrates for fat.
    • Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
    • Up to 10% of the day's total calories from polyunsaturated fat.
    • Up to 20% of the day's total calories from monounsaturated fat
  • Avoid fad diets:
    • Eat a well-rounded diet instead.
    • Eat small, frequent meals.
    • Avoid large and heavy meals.
  • Limit cholesterol in diet:
    • To less than 200 milligrams a day.
  • Limit iron intake:
  • Eat enough dietary fiber:
    • Whole grains are best.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins:
  • Reduce salt in your diet:
    • No more than 1,500 milligrams per day is optimal.
    • Avoid cooking with salt.
    • Avoid fast food.
    • Avoid salty foods, such as pickles, cured meats, salty snacks, and canned soup.
    • Avoid seasonings that contain sodium, such as soy sauce, steak sauce, garlic and onion salt, and monosodium glutamate.
    • Do not add salt to your food after it is prepared.
    • Read food labels and buy foods that are low in salt.
    • When eating out, ask that your food be prepared without salt.

Key Dietary Recommendations for Chronic Disease Prevention
NutrientRecommendation
Energy (calories)to maintain BMI < 25
Total fats< or = to 30% of total daily calories
Saturated fats< 7% of total daily calories
Polyunsaturated fats< 10% of total daily calories
Monounsaturated fats< 13% of total daily calories
Cholesterol< or = to 300 mg per day
Dietary fiber25-30 grams per day
Fiber type3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber
Sodium< or = to 1,500 mg per day
Calcium 9-24 yrs1,200-1,500 mg per day
Calcium 25-50 yrs1,000 mg per day
Calcium 51-65 yrs1,200 mg per day
Calcium >65 yrs1,500 mg per day
Vitamin D 9-50 yrs200 IU per day
Vitamin D 51-70 yrs400 IU per day
Vitamin D >70 yrs600 IU per day
Folic acid400 micrograms (ug) per day
Fruits & vegetables5-7 servings per day
Alcohol (men)< or = to 2 drinks per day
Alcohol (women)< or = to 1 drink per day

Continue to HTN Fiber

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed HTN References
  1. Aronow WS. Treatment of hypertension in the elderly. Geriatrics. 2008 Oct;63(10):21-5. Review. [18828653]
  2. Kearney PM, Whelton M, Reynolds K, Whelton PK, He J. Worldwide prevalence of hypertension: a systematic review. J Hypertens. 2004 Jan;22(1):11-9. [15106785]
  3. Then KL, Rankin JA. Hypertension: a review for clinicians. Nurs Clin North Am. 2004 Dec;39(4):793-814. [15561162]
  4. Toto RD. Hypertension and kidney literature review 2000. Clin Nephrol. 2002 Oct;58(4):253-9. [12400839]
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