Health Watch - Thanksgiving: Hypertension Tradeoffs

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about planning your Thanksgiving dinner so it doesn’t bust your diet. People with high blood pressure need to be especially careful about unhealthy eating, even on the holidays.

About one in four Americans has high blood pressure, which leaves them vulnerable to risks like heart attack or stroke. People with high blood pressure should limit their sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams a day, and a single holiday meal can go well above that limit. Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, a high blood pressure expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says she tells her patients they can enjoy one special holiday meal, but they can’t continue their unhealthy habits every day through the whole holiday season. In order to enjoy a holiday meal, you’ll have to make tradeoffs. To avoid going over your daily salt limit, if you’re going to eat a big holiday dinner, make sure your other meals that day are lower in salt.

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November 2010


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