Living With High Blood Pressure

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Eating well to lower your blood pressure

How your food affects your blood pressure

One of the best things you can do for your blood pressure is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. No single food can bring your blood pressure to a healthy level, but eating the right foods in the right portions most of the time will slowly help you get where you need to be.

This is because eating well will help you maintain a healthy weight, which will avoid putting further stress on your heart. A healthy diet will also help you avoid too much salt which is linked with high blood pressure.

Get the BHF guidance on what your body needs to work at its best, where you should cut back, and how to make easy food swaps that will let you enjoy the things you love in a healthier way.

Learn more here >

Expert advice on eating well

With all the newspapers, cookbooks, blogs and healthy-eating guides out there, it can be hard to know where to start if you’re changing your diet.

Try and get your information from the NHS, a recognised health charity like the BHF, or a dietitian. Dietitians are properly qualified and accredited, whereas nutritionists, nutritional therapists, nutrition experts and others don’t have to be.

All the advice we give at the British Heart Foundation is approved by our expert team of dietitians. See what our BHF Dietitian Victoria Taylor found out when she spoke to a community dietitian, a hospital dietitian and a cardiac rehab dietitian to get their best advice for those looking for a heart healthy diet.

Get advice from a community dietitian >

Know your portion sizes

Eating the right amount of food is just as important as the types of food you eat. Women who are trying to stay the same weight should aim to eat around 2,000 calories a day, and men trying to stay the same weight should aim for 2,500 calories. These calories should come from lots of different, heart-healthy foods throughout the day.

A portion size is how much you should eat of that food in one meal. Generally people eat a lot more than they need to feel full and one of the easiest ways to achieve a healthy weight is to get your portion sizes right. Using smaller plates and glasses will all help you, but have a look at these portion sizes below and start getting used to using them.

With packaged food, always read the label to find out how much one portion is. Make sure most of your plate is made up of vegetables and fruit, then a portion of starchy carbohydrates, with a smaller amount of protein and just a little bit of healthy fats.

See our handy portion size guides >

Summer fruit smoothie ice lollies

Simple but delicious, these fruit smoothie lollies are a cooling treat on a hot day and they’re lower in sugar and fats than shop-bought ices. You can make them with different fresh fruit or other low-fat fruit yoghurts too.

Get the recipe >

Find more heart healthy recipes >

Join the conversation on HealthUnlocked

To get the most out of your heart health journey, you'll need support. Our online community on HealthUnlocked brings patients, their loved-ones and healthcare experts all together online to share advice and encouragement. Join the conversation.

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