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A healthy blood pressure starts with a healthy shopping trolley. Buying blood pressure friendly foods will help you to eat your way to a lower blood pressure.
But, if you want to eat the right foods to lower your blood pressure, you need to buy the right foods and avoid the wrong ones.
Below we look at how to change your shopping habits for life so that you can fill your trolley with blood pressure friendly foods and avoid the ones that will raise it higher.
A famous quote says that “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, so always go to the shops armed with a list of what you need. And make sure that you don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. Sticking to the list and not feeling hungry will help you to avoid those impulse purchases.
Map your route
Another way to avoid the impulse purchases is to follow a “temptation-free” route. Most stores put their processed foods in the centre of the shop, with the staples such as fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy items round the outside. By filling your trolley from the outer aisles first, you may help yourself to resist any unhealthy food urges.
Read the label
Use the food label and any “traffic lights” on the packet to avoid high-salt, high-fat, high-sugar foods (see below). Whenever you can, "Go for green".
Eating low-salt foods will rapidly help to lower your blood pressure, while eating low-fat and low-sugar foods will help reduce your risks of other health problems such as heart attack and diabetes.
How food "traffic lights" work
The general advice is to eat as much "Green" as possible, "Amber" less often and "Red" only as an occasional treat.
|Foods per 100g||Low - green||Medium - amber||High - red|
|Fat||Less than 3g||3-20g||More than 20g|
|Saturated fat||Less than 1.5g||1.5-5g||More than 5g|
|Total sugar||Less than 5g||5-15g||More than 15g|
|Salt||Less than 0.3g||0.3-1.5g||More than 1.5g|