How to Beat Hypertension with a Healthy Diet

Person measuring his own blood pressure using a device on the wrist.

If you are struggling with hypertension or high blood pressure, you are definitely not alone. According to the National Health Survey, nearly one in four Singaporeans aged 30 to 69 has hypertension. Hypertension increases the risk of kidney failure, coronary heart disease and stroke and is affecting so many people. There have been a lot of studies not just locally but internationally on how to prevent and treat it with a dietary strategy. And the evidence shows that a healthy diet can indeed beat hypertension. Let’s discuss how we can do that. In general, healthy diets rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and low saturated fats have been found to reduce blood pressure.

Take more protein, Limit carbohydrates and sugar

What’s most interesting is that the macronutrient with the biggest influence on blood pressure is protein. Many studies and reviews have shown that taking protein instead of carbohydrate lowered blood pressure. While the exact science behind why it does that is yet to be uncovered, it is thought that increases in protein affect plasma amino acid concentration, which in turn affects blood pressure regulation through its influence on insulin resistance, renal function, etc.


A Healthy Keto Diet controls net carbohydrates (carbohydrates minus fibre) in every meal and offers healthy meals low in saturated fat, which helped 70% of participants with hypertension in a 6-month trial improve their blood pressure. In many hypertensive individuals who are also overweight, losing the access weight helps tremendously in decreasing blood pressure. Studies have shown that every 1kg of weight loss leads to 1mmHg drop in blood pressure. (link the statement to a study) That means if you lose 10 kg of access weight, you will have a reduction of 10mmHg in blood pressure.

Flat rice noodles with shrimp and squid with half a lime on a white ceramic plate.



Reduce salt / sodium

Sodium encourages your body to retain fluid, which in turn increases the fluid volume of your blood and raises blood pressure. The recommended maximum daily limit is 2,300mg which is only about 1 teaspoon of salt. So when shopping, buy fresh, avoid processed food and check nutrition labels. When eating out, ask that your food be prepared with less salt and sauces. When cooking at home, rely on natural herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, chilli, spring onions, parsley, cinnamon and cloves for seasoning instead of stock powders.

Include high fibre foods in your diet

Fibre is an essential part of any healthy diet. It helps manage weight gain, lowers low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level and has been found to reduce blood pressure levels. Higher fibre choices in Singapore can be wholemeal instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white rice, replacing meat with beans and lentils in meals.  

Embrace potassium and magnesium rich foods

Potassium helps your body flush out excess sodium, easing the strain on blood vessels and hence help lower blood pressure. Examples of natural sources of potassium are bananas and sweet potatoes.

Magnesium is getting more recognition for its antihypertensive effect i.e. reduction in blood pressure. Lucky for us, it's found in abundance in foods like nuts, seeds, and whole grains which are also high in fibre – staples of many Singaporean diets.

Limit alcohol intake

Drinking alcohol often makes your heart pump faster hence increasing blood pressure. The hype around drinking a lot of red wine for heart health simply isn’t true.

Hypertension may seem daunting to beat, but by making small yet impactful changes to your eating habits, you can take control of your blood pressure and pave the way for a healthier you. If you’re trying to find a healthy diet or know someone who is, consider our HealthFull meals which have a proven scientific record and are clinically tested.

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