Food Chart

Chart produced by Pfizer in association with the British Hypertension Society

Note: If you are overweight, aim to eat most of your food from the far left column.


Choose from this group daily

Eat in moderation 2-3 times a week only

Eat in moderation once a week or less

Avoid eating

Cereal food, i.e. cornmeal

Wholemeal flour, oatmeal, wholemeal bread, whole grain cereals, porridge oats, crispbreads, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, cornmeal, untoasted sugar-free muesli, rice cakes.

White bread, white flour, white rice & pasta, water biscuits, wholemeal or oat scone, teacake, pancake.

Sugar-coated cereals.

Plain semi-sweet biscuits.

Ordinary muesli.

Sweet biscuits, cream-filled biscuits (unless cooked in rape seed oil), croissants.

Fruit & vegetables

All fresh, frozen & dried vegetables.  Baked potatoes (eat skin), tofu.

Eat at least 5-7 portions per day.

Olives, avocado.

Fruit in syrup, crystallised fruit, chips & roast potatoes cooked in rape seed oil.  Oven chips labelled “cooked in sunflower oil & 40% less fat” (grill if possible).

Deep-fat-fried chips, roast potatoes (unless cooked in rape seed oil), crisps & savoury snacks.



Walnuts, pinenuts

Pistachio nuts, pecan, almonds, sesame or sunflower seeds.  Peanuts & most other nuts, e.g. hazlenuts, brazil nuts.

Coconut, cashew.


All fresh & frozen fish, (avoid frying), e.g. cod, plaice, herring, mackerel.

Fish fried in suitable oil, fish fingers or fish cakes (grilled).  Tinned fish in oil (drained), or tomato sauce e.g. sardines, tuna.

Prawns, lobster, crab, oysters, molluscs, winkles. 

Smoked fish, e.g. salmon.

Fish roe, taramasalata, fried scampi.


Chicken, turkey (without skin), veal, rabbit, game, soya protein meat substitute, very lean red meat (grilled).

Lean beef, pork, lamb, ham & gammon, very lean minced meat.

Liver, kidney, tripe, sweetbreads.  Grilled back bacon (pre-boil in water).  Duck (without skin).  Low-fat pate.

Sausages, luncheon meats, corned beef, pate, salami, streaky bacon, burgers, goose, meat pies & sausage rolls, pasties, scotch eggs, visible fat on meat, crackling, chicken skin.

Eggs & dairy foods

Skimmed milk, soya milk, powdered skimmed milk, cottage cheese, low-fat curd cheese, low-fat yoghurt, egg white, low-fat fromage frais.

Semi-skimmed milk, no more than 3 whole eggs per week including those in baked items, e.g. cakes, quiche, flans.

Medium-fat cheeses, e.g. Edam, Camembert, Gouda, Brie, cheese spreads. Half-fat cheeses labelled ‘low-fat’. Sweetened condensed skimmed milk.

Whole milk & cream.  Full-fat yoghurt, cheese, e.g. stilton, cheddar, cream cheese, evaporated or condensed milk, imitation cream, excess eggs, i.e. 4 or more per week.

Fats & oils

Small amounts only – see next column.

Olive oil, rape seed oil.

Margarine & shortening labelled “high in polyunsaturates” or corn oil, sunflower oil, soya oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut (ground nut) oil, reduced-fat & low-fat spreads.

All margarines, shortenings & oils not labelled ‘high in polyunsaturates’.  Butter, lard, suet & dripping, vegetable oil or margarine of unknown origin.  All spreads not labelled “low-fat”.

Prepared foods


Jelly (low sugar), sorbet, fat-free homemade soups.

Home made pastry, puddings, cakes, biscuits, sauces, etc. made with wholemeal flour & fat or oil as above, low-fat ready-prepared meals.

Non-dairy ice cream, custard mix made with water or skimmed milk.

Processed pastries, puddings, cakes & sauces made with whole milk & fat or oil as above, suet dumplings or puddings, cream soups. Packet soups.

Sweets, preserves, jams & spreads

Sugar-free artificial sweetners, low-fat jam & marmalade.

Jam, marmalade, honey, low-fat soft cheese, low-fat spreads.

Boiled sweets, fruit pastilles & jellies.  Marmite, Bovril, chutneys & pickles, fish & meat pastes, peanut butter.

Chocolate spreads, chocolates, toffees, fudge, butterscotch, carob chocolate, coconut bars.


Freshly made tea, coffee, mineral water, fruit juice (unsweetened).


3 units/day (men)

2 units/day (women).

Maximum 21 units/week (men) and

14 units/week (women).

Sweetened drinks, squashes, fruit juice, (sweetened), malted milk or hot chocolate drinks made with skimmed milk.

Whole milk drinks, cream-based liqueurs, coffee whitener.

Salt, sauces & dressings

Herbs, spices, lemon juice, garlic, pepper.

Homemade salad dressings & mayonnaise made with suitable oils as above.

Low-fat or low-calorie, mayonnaise & dressings.

Parmesan cheese.

High salt intake, Tabasco, soy sauce, ordinary or cream dressings & mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce.