The #1 Snack for Weight Loss When You Have High Blood Pressure, According to a Dietitian

A recipe photo of Peanut Butter Cinnamon Toast served on a plate

A recipe photo of Peanut Butter Cinnamon Toast served on a plate

Christine Ma

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of adults in the United States (47 percent, or approximately 116 million people) have high blood pressure (aka high blood pressure).While there are many conditions that affect people with high blood pressure, a recent review article in 2020 was published in gland surgery Adults with a higher percentage of body fat (obesity) were found to account for 65% to 78% of those diagnosed with essential hypertension. Having high blood pressure also puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States today.

Given these statistics, it's important to be proactive and make small, simple changes that can make a big difference to your blood pressure. But don't worry, you don't have to overhaul your eating habits overnight. We'll show you how to incorporate affordable everyday foods that you love and also happen to be better choices for you. Get started with this nutritionist-favorite snack that not only helps you lose weight, but also lowers your blood pressure!

The No. 1 snack for those with high blood pressure to lose weight

Pull up a chair with this basic peanut butter banana cinnamon toast for novice cooks and classic-trained cooks alike. The nutrients in this energizing combo not only work together perfectly, but they also provide a huge dose of nourishment in every single bite you have.

why so great

I'm not kidding when I say that as a registered dietitian nutritionist and busy mom of two, I eat this combo every day not only for its convenience but also for its powerful benefits.

do not trust me? Then take Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, LD, owner of Olive Tree Nutrition LLC and media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She shares, “A banana, peanut butter, and whole-wheat toast combo is a great snack because it provides protein, fiber-rich carbs, and healthy fats that help keep blood sugar steady, give you energy and keep you full.”

Not to mention, this easy snack is a great source of several nutrients, and here are some notable ones.

good source of potassium

If you've heard of potassium, you've probably heard of bananas mentioned in the same sentence. That's because bananas are one of the best-known sources of potassium, an important electrolyte that's essential for keeping your body's fluid levels balanced. Potassium is the dynamic duo of sodium. Potassium works inside the cells to manage fluid, while sodium works outside the cells to help control blood pressure and keep the heart beating smoothly. One medium banana provides about 9 percent of your daily value for potassium.

While it's not the highest food source of potassium (apricots and potatoes actually have more potassium per serving), it's an easy, convenient, and affordable option that most people can find at their local grocery store.

rich in protein

Affordable, delicious and nutritious, two tablespoons of peanut butter provide about 7 grams of protein, 12 grams of unsaturated fat and 2 grams of filling fiber.These Three Nutrients Found in Peanuts (and Other Tree Nuts) Have Been Proved to May Support Weight Loss, According to a Study Published in 2019 british medical journal。 Plus, this combo is satiety, meaning you'll feel full and satisfied after eating and be less likely to mindlessly chew.

Be careful with the type of peanut butter you choose. While natural peanut butter is very low in added sugar and sodium, we know there are many different nutritional options available on the market today. Al Bochi recommends choosing “natural” peanut butter that doesn't contain any added sugar.

include whole grains

There's a reason the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans keep recommending making at least half of your grains: They're packed with nutrients! Unlike their concentrated or refined counterparts, whole grains contain the bran, germ, and endosperm of wheat. This composition of whole grains — including whole-wheat bread — provides fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, iron, and folic acid, which may benefit weight loss and heart health. A 2019 study published in nutrition magazine It was found that simply adding more fiber to the diet may promote weight loss compared to those who ate less fiber over a six-month period.And, that's not all: a study recently published in 2021 Journal of Nutrition It has also been found that replacing refined grains with whole grains can reduce body fat percentage and improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, thereby reducing the risk of cardiometabolic disease.

However, buyer beware, you need to know what type of bread you are buying as they are not made in the same way. Al Bochi shared, “Sometimes it can be hidden [added] Sugar and salt in bread products, so choose products that contain no more than 5% of your daily value for sodium and sugar. “Also, try to choose bread that provides at least 2 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams or more of protein per slice.

Diet Tips for Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure

Consider the DASH Diet

Al Bochi recommends that those with high blood pressure consider the DASH diet. “The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, has been shown to be effective in controlling blood pressure. This dietary pattern focuses on including plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, legumes, nuts, poultry, and fish, while Intake is limited to no more than 2,300 mg per day.”

Instead of thinking about what you can't eat, focus on what you can eat able And try adding more of these foods to your regular meals and snacks. The toast combo in this snack certainly fits into this eating pattern, especially if you choose low-sodium bread and peanut butter.

Cook at home

Let's face it, we know you're busy and the convenience of getting takeout or eating a pre-packaged meal saves lives. However, it's important to be mindful of how often you do this, since fast food and frozen meals often contain more sodium than you need (or want) in one meal. Al Bochi recommends cooking more at home to help reduce sodium intake. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you cook 21 meals a week at home!

Instead, try prepping meals ahead and cooking some protein, complex carbs, and veggies in batches so you can prepare an easy meal when you're pressed for time. A scrambled egg omelet with roasted vegetables pairs perfectly with peanut butter banana cinnamon toast for an easy meal that comes together in no time.

Check out these weight loss-friendly meal prep recipes you might like.

the bottom line

Losing weight while managing high blood pressure doesn't mean you have to live off simple or bland diets. Embrace an additive mindset and focus on simple, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks you can enjoy, like this Peanut Butter Banana Cinnamon Toast. We promise it will satisfy, satisfy and benefit your health!

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