Keeping Tabs on Blood Pressure and a Delicious Cucumber and Peach Salad!

May 28, 2019

Cucumbers and Peaches: An Awesome Combination!

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian, Providence Health

In May 2018 a task force comprised of representatives from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released the 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure for adults. The guidelines presented some significant changes in the way blood pressure is identified and treated. What was formally considered to be pre-hypertension is now considered elevated or stage one hypertension, depending on the blood pressure reading. With the guideline changes, more people are meeting the criteria for hypertension and needing some lifestyle changes. These are the numbers we are now looking at:

Normal: 120/<80

Elevated: 120-129/<80

Hypertension stage 1: 130–39 or 80

Hypertension stage 2: >140 or > 90

Be sure to pay attention to your blood pressure and if you see it creeping up you will need to see your doctor. If you know you have blood pressure issues (and even if you don’t and just want to have a healthy lifestyle) you might want to consider lifestyle changes to eat healthy and exercise regularly. 

Try this salad recipe! It’s a great segway to a healthier plate. Lots of color and an easy addition to your salad options!

Cucumber and Peach Salad with Pepitas Pesto

1/2 cup unsalted pepitas

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped, seeded jalapeño pepper One medium clove garlic, quartered

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 peaches, quartered and sliced

4 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Place pepitas in a food processor: pulse until coarsely chopped, about 10 pulses. Add cilantro, parsley, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic and salt; pulse until minced, about 20 pulses. With the processor running, stream in olive oil until just combined but still chunky. Gently toss cucumbers, peaches, and scallions in a large bowl with the pesto mixture and vinegar until combined.

Nutrition information: 128 cal, 8 g of fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 4 g of protein, 201 mg sodium

Recipe source: Diabetic Living, Summer 2019.If you would like to speak to a primary care provider about your heart health numbers, call 1-800-424-DOCS or visit the “Find a Provider” tab at


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – A Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.