About a third of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Another third of people have prehypertension, or blood pressure that is high but not high enough to be considered hypertension. The only way to determine if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured by your doctor during your annual checkup because high blood pressure typically does not have any symptoms.
Although controlling high blood pressure is simple, ignoring it can result in life-threatening conditions like stroke, heart attack, and other serious heart issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that only about half of people with high blood pressure are able to control it.
One of the best ways to prevent or manage high blood pressure is to follow a healthy eating plan, in addition to exercising and losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.
What exactly is high blood pressure?
The force that your blood exerts against the arteries’ walls is known as blood pressure. When your blood pressure is too high on a regular basis, you have high blood pressure. The systolic blood pressure measurement and the diastolic blood pressure measurement make up your blood pressure.
When your heart beats, the pressure of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries is known as the systolic number, or top number. The blood pressure when your heart is at rest between beats is measured by the diastolic number, which is the lowest number. A blood pressure of less than 80 over less than 120 is considered normal.
Hypertension is more normal in more seasoned individuals as a result of hardening courses and plaque development.
What to Eat to Prevent or Control High Blood Pressure
A heart-healthy diet aids in both the prevention of heart disease and the management of high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. What is a heart-sound eating routine? A diet that is high in:
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan, which has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure, provides a framework for incorporating these heart-healthy foods into your diet. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, lean proteins, fish, legumes (beans and peas), and good fats found in products such as vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds are all examples of heart-healthy food groups. Despite the fact that the name suggests it is for people with high blood pressure, those with normal blood pressure who adhere to the DASH eating plan can lower their risk of developing high blood pressure.
What to Avoid or Limit to Lower Your Risk of High Blood Pressure
In Addition to Consuming Heart-Healthy Foods, You Can Lower Your Risk of High Blood Pressure Even More By Reducing or Eliminating These Foods and Drinks:
- Unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fat
- Excessive alcohol
- Red meat
- Sweets, and beverages that are sweetened with sugar
Salt, or sodium, is probably the most important item on your list of foods to avoid and probably the easiest to avoid. According to the findings of one study, blood pressure measurements were significantly lower in individuals who adhered to the DASH diet and also reduced their sodium intake.
Eat fresh foods instead of frozen ones to cut down on sodium intake, as frozen meals typically contain a lot of salt. Instead of salt, flavor your food with other flavorful herbs and spices. Any packaged food item’s sodium per serving should be noted after reading the label.
Potassium supplementation can also help to offset the negative effects of salt. Therefore, make sure to include potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes and bananas on your menu.
Call Danvers Family Doctors, P.C. in Danvers, Massachusetts, or schedule an appointment online to learn more about lowering blood pressure.