Dining out once a week linked to hypertension

Dining out once a week linked to hypertension

A new study is the first to show an association between meals eaten away from home and high blood pressure.

The study from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore found that eating one extra meal out per week raises the odds of prehypertension by 6 percent.

Dr. Rahul Modi, family medicine physician at Advocate Medical Group in Glenview, Ill., says dining out can be appealing for Americans.

“People are living fast-paced lives and restaurant food is easily accessible and much quicker than preparing meals,” Dr. Modi says. “It also tastes really good, but I stress to my patients that moderation and a little bit of self-control are keys to help avoid overindulging.”

Another issue when dining out is not knowing what a person is putting in his or her body – calories, sodium and other less healthy foods.

“Most restaurant meals are high in salt, unsaturated fats and lack the nutrition we should be eating,” Dr. Modi says. “Healthier choices are available at most restaurants, which focus on portion control and low carb options.”

Dr. Modi tips for navigating restaurant visits include:

  • Eat smaller portions. Don’t be afraid to share a meal to help regulate caloric intake.
  • Take half of your meal home. Ask the waiter for a to-go box so you won’t feel tempted to overindulge.
  • Consider eating smaller, healthier meals, rather than big value meals.
  • Substitute soda beverages with water to decrease excess sugar and calories.
  • Consume white meat instead of red meat.
  • Order fish. It’s a great source of protein and has healthier cholesterol.
  • Do not add table salt.
  • Pair your meals with good portions of vegetables for a healthy option.
  • Take time to enjoy your meals, this way you can also work on portion control.

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About the Author

Mickey Ramirez
Mickey Ramirez

Mickey Ramirez, health enews contributor, is the director of Brand Services. He enjoys kimchi, honesty and a room with a view. He claims to not be a writer, but he occasionally learns information that is just too important to keep to himself.