Reader Profile: Show Me the Flavor

“I have a very healthy diet, but my blood pressure is still higher than I would like.” - Mary Ihla: Age: 65, web designer, Minneapolis

Cooking Light Reader: Mary Ihla

Mary Ihla: Show Me the Flavor

Sara Rubinstein


Mary has been working hard to get healthier, and that includes a 50-pound weight loss, but her blood pressure numbers aren’t the best. She misses salt—a hankering that dates back to childhood. “I just crave it. When other kids were buying candy bars, I was buying sunflower seeds,” she says. However, Mary fears that reaching a healthier weight has only compounded the sodium problem. “I have noticed that when products are low in fat, they’re high in sodium. They put sodium in to add flavor.”


The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) will be a great way for this family to enjoy food while naturally lowering Mary’s blood pressure. The eating plan emphasizes delicious, naturally-low-in-sodium veggies, whole grains, and small amounts of lean meats. Potassium, a mineral that helps balance the effects of sodium on the body, plays an important role in the diet, too. It’s been shown to help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.

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