Hypertension is characterized by an elevated blood pressure which can lead to severe complications and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke or death. Currently, the prevalence of hypertension in the Philippines had significantly increased over the years. In fact, 1 out of 4 Filipinos are hypertensive; roughly more that 12 Million Filipinos, based on the national survey of DOH last 2017.

So what is the best way to control or minimize the risk of hypertension?  Eat a healthy diet. While there are so many diet options to which we can choose, the best diet is THE DASH diet. Based on researches, the DASH diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension has already been proven to lower blood pressure and can improve overall health. DASH diet is high in fiber, low in sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars. Below is a sample recommended servings from each food group for the 2,000-calorie-a-day DASH diet:

Food group and number of serving

Amount per serving


Grains – 6 to 8 servings a day



1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 ounce dry cereal, ½ cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta

Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta

Vegetables – 4 to 5 servings a day

1 cup raw leafy green vegetables or ½ cup raw or cooked vegetables

Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens and other vegetables

Fruits – 4 to 5 servings a day

1 medium fruit, ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit, 4 ounces of juice

Banana, mango, orange, pineapple

Dairy – 2 to 3 servings a day

1 cup skim milk, 1 cup low fat yogurt, ½ ounces part-skim cheese

Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other diary products

Lean meat, poultry and fish – 6 servings or fewer a day

1 ounce of lean meat

Fatty fish such as salmon, herring and tuna

Nuts, seeds and legumes – 4 to 5 servings a week

1/3 cup nuts, 2 Tablespoon seeds, or ½ cup cooked beans or peas

Almonds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, lentils

Fats and oils – 2 to 3 servings a day

1 tsp soft margarine, 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise or tablespoons salad dressing

Mayonnaise, salad dressing

Sweets – 5 servings or fewer a week

1 tablespoon sugar, jelly or jam, ½ cup sorbet

Sorbets, fruit ices, jelly beans, hard candy, low-fat cookies




Source: www.mayoclinic.org

Depending on health needs, one can choose from a standard DASH diet (up to 2,300 mg sodium a day) or lower sodium DASH diet (1,500mg of sodium a day). Both aim to reduce the amount of sodium in a diet. Both include a lot of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

Start your journey to a HEALTHIER YOU by trying our recipe Gardenia Pan Grilled Chicken Spinach Sandwich using our High Fiber Whole Wheat Bread, made from 100% real premium wholemeal flour which is high in fiber, plus vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, Calcium, and Iron. Two slices provide 20% of your daily fiber needs. Moreover, it has zero trans fat, and zero cholesterol which is good for cardiovascular health.


Gardenia pan grilled chicken spinach sandwich

Per serving: Carbohydrates: 46 g, Protein: 36 g, Fat: 14 g, Energy:  454 kcal


2 slices Gardenia High Fiber Whole Wheat Bread
2 pcs Chicken breast fillet, pounded
2 tsp dried sage, store bought
2 tsp dried rosemary, store bought
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tsp light mayonnaise
1/2 cup spinach leaves, blanched
1 pc tomato, sliced
2 pcs light cheese singles


  1. Marinade chicken breast fillet for at least one hour before grilling.
  2. Pan grill chicken until lightly golden brown in color. Set aside.
  3. For the sandwich, spread a teaspoon of light mayo on one side of the bread. Top with pan grilled chicken, spinach leaves, sliced tomatoes and light cheese.
  4. Cover with another slice of bread. Toast sandwich for about 2-4 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.



Remember that hypertension is a lifestyle-related disease which is often preventable. It’s never too late to adopt healthy habits and live a healthier life. Just take one step at a time!