Altering your diet to control cholesterol makes perfect sense. Doing it to control blood pressure doesn't seem quite so straightforward. Yet food can have a direct effect on blood pressure, according to the October 2010 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.
Salt certainly plays a role—reducing intake often reduces blood pressure. But fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, beans, nuts, whole-grain carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats also have healthful effects on blood pressure. There isn't a single "magic" food. Instead, these foods set the foundation for an all-around healthful eating strategy that is good for blood pressure and much more.
A healthful diet is an excellent initial treatment when blood pressure creeps into the unhealthy zone, and a perfect partner for medications. The Harvard Heart Letter outlines some evidence-based advice about diet and blood pressure:
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