If you have Bad eating habits then it contributes significantly to unhealthily high blood pressure levels, even in middle age, when blood pressure levels typically rise as part of the aging process. Whether or not you are taking antihypertensive drugs, the need to make dietary improvements (eg. follow a healthy low-fat diet) is frequently at the top of a doctor’s list of recommendations to reduce or prevent the onset of high blood pressure. Before outlining the best type of diet for hypertension, let’s take a brief look at health consequences of raised blood pressure.
Hazards of Hypertension & High Blood Pressure
In under developed as well as developed countries, an estimated 20-40 percent of all adults suffer from persistent high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts a strain on the heart causing atherosclerosis(Thickening of vessels). Result is damage to heart, Coronary artery disease, Kidney failure, Stroke, Eye damage and so on. The choice is yours, you must always aim to protect your vital organs by controlling your Blood pressure at all costs. Remember, Hypertension is a silent Killer, it shows its effects silently. Once you’ve realized that you have it, it may already be too late and your organs may have already been affected by it.
Normal Blood Pressure Levels vs. Prehypertensive and Hypertensive
Normal blood pressure of an healthy adult at rest, is 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic) or less. Blood pressure levels greater than 120/80 and below 140/90 are at prehypertensive stage, while levels above 140/90 are considered hypertensive stage. Both prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects should make diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to reduce or prevent the onset of hypertension and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Weight increases blood Pressure
Over weight persons will be having high blood pressure. Weight reduction significantly decreases blood pressure. People with obesity double their risk of developing the disorder. In addition, roughly 7 out of 10 obese adults suffer from high blood pressure. Getting involved with a strict exercise and diet regimen can dramatically help balance your blood pressure. Actions need to be taken very quickly in order to control those numbers from taking away your quality of life.
Dietary Advice and Tips For High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure and not overweight, here are few tips to control it.
Choose A Healthy Balanced Diet
If you want to reduce your blood pressure, your diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods, while low in saturated and trans-fats. It should also be low in cholesterol, high in fiber, calcium, potassium and magnesium, and moderately high in protein. The American Heart Association and U.S. government recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet as a good diet guide to reduce blood pressure.
First thing is to Reduce Your Intake of Sodium (Salt)
How salt intake increases blood pressure. Eating too much salt or sodium-rich foods leads to a greater uptake of fluid and causes greater retention of water inside the body. This can lead to volume overload and High blood pressure. It also places extra strain on the arterioles (blood vessels that dilate/constrict to regulate blood pressure and blood flow). Both these effects lead to higher blood pressure. The Recommended daily dose for sodium for most people is 2,400 mg, so make sure to not over do it in this area, as it can be detrimental to your health.
You can Reduce Sodium Intake
How can you decrease sodium intake? Eat less pre-cooked or processed food, and eat more fresh food. Sodium is found naturally in fresh foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, and dairy products, but in much lower quantities than in processed foods (eg. packet, bottled or canned food).
High Sodium Foods
These foods typically have a high sodium content. In order not to exceed the RDA, either avoid them altogether, or choose low-sodium varieties.
Sauces: baking soda, barbecue sauce, catsup, garlic salt, mustard, onion salt,Soy sauce, steak sauce, salad dressing, baking powder, mustard, onion salt, seasoned salts like lemon pepper, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizer, and monosodium glutamate.
Salted Snacks: peanuts, pretzels, pork rinds.Tortilla chips, corn chips
Soup: instant soups, Regular canned soups.
Pickled Food: Olives, or sauerkraut, Herring, pickles, relish,
Meats: smoked or cured meats (containing sodium-nitrite) such as bacon, bologna, hot dogs, ham, corned beef, luncheon meats, and sausage, Hogmaws, ribs, and chitterlings,.
Dairy: Most cheese spreads and cheeses.
Drinks: club soda, saccharin-flavored soda,
Cereals: Instant hot cereals, Regular ready to eat cold cereals,
Ready-to-Eat: boxed mixes like rice, scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese and some frozen dinners, pot pies and pizza. Quick cook rice, instant noodles,
Fats: Butter, fatback, and salt pork.
Check Labels of Food Containers:
Choose those foods labeled as low-sodium, very low sodium, or salt-free. Check food labels for words that indicate a high sodium content, including: sodium nitrite, sodium proprionate, dissodium phosphate, and sodium sulfate., monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide,
Lower Sodium Eating Habits
Do not add extra salt when cooking or preparing meals. Cook with more herbs and spices.
Do not have salt on the table while eating do not add salt on salad.
If you cook with salt, switch to chili, ginger and lemon juice for flavoring.
If you eat cured/smoked meats, switch to fresh cold meats.
If you eat ready-to-serve breakfast cereal, choose low-sodium types of cereal.
Rinse before eating, If you eat tuna, salmon, sardines, or mackerel canned in water.
If you eat soup, switch to low-sodium or fresh soups.
If you cook with whole milk or fat diet, switch to 1 percent or skimmed buttermilk.
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