Diet and High Blood Pressure

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Diet and High Blood Pressure

Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet

According to the American Heart Association, eating a heart-healthy diet is important for managing your blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke and other diseases. Research has shown that following a healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already elevated blood pressure.

For an overall eating plan, consider the DASH eating plan. DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. It was created after a clinical study that tested the effects of nutrients in food on blood pressure. Study results indicated that elevated blood pressures were reduced by an eating plan that emphasizes green vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The DASH eating plan also includes quality organic meats and poultry, fish, and nuts, and has reduced amounts of unhealthy trans-fats, sweets, chemicals, and sugared beverages.

People facing the high blood pressure problem must give due attention to their diet as it is a fact that healthy diet has a strong effect on blood pressure and the heart. When a person starts making healthy lifestyle changes, then it becomes easy to keep the two blood pressure numbers ( i.e. systolic and diastolic ) under control.

Making changes in the diet is an important step for a person with hypertension because through such changes he or she could actually lower the pressure to the normal level.

Here are some friendly diet habits that one should follow for achieving the desired results in a short time span.

Avoid Alcohol:

A person with hypertension should try to avoid alcohol. It has been proved in many studies that constant consumption of alcohol is unhealthy and somewhat perilous for a person who is suffering from hypertension situation. Some studies also demonstrated that low intake of alcohol poses positive effect on heart and thereby it can lower the pressure of a person.

Daily Exercise:

Regular exercise is as necessary as breathing because you owe it your body to keep it healthy, physically and mentally. Exercise is a great stress buster, controls weight, improves your stamina and immunity, and reduces high blood pressure naturally. And it feels great! So find an activity that you like, whether walking, biking, tai chi or yoga, and a spouse, child, or neighbor, and commit to a regular schedule of “me” time! Your body will thank you!

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Reduce Table Salt Consumption:

The recommended part of healthy diet is to reduce salt consumption. According to most studies, consuming too much table salt can adversely affect the blood pressure, although moderate use of unrefined sea salt on fresh unprocessed foods will aid in normalizing elevated blood pressure. Be sure to read my Published Article “Why Sea Salt?” for a deeper explanation of the effect of both types of salt on the body.

Eliminate Trans-Fats:

A person with hypertension problems should not eat synthetic saturated (hydrogenated) or and trans-fats. It is a fact that high amounts of synthetic fats are bad for heart and blood vessels, especially in the situation when the circulating system is under high pressure, although  there is substantial evidence supporting the health benefits of natural saturated fats like coconut oil. Please read my Published Article on fats and oils, “Oils- The Good, The Bad, The Really Bad”, for a more in-depth look at how different types of fats affect your health.

There are four stages of blood pressure depending on the risk factor; stage 1 is less risky, stage 2 is risky, stage 3 is more risky and stage 4 is extremely risky. Stage 4 of hypertension is considered dangerous because it is associated with many health problems such as kidney failure, heart failure, heart stroke etc. If a person wants to avoid any severe condition, then he/she must take a good hard look at the quality of foods that he/she is consuming and adopt a healthy lifestyle without delay.

Choosing a varied menu including high-potassium foods like fruits, vegetables and organic cultured dairy, as well as lean meats and fish will go a long way towards lowering high blood pressure and improving your overall health. Here at Cook For Life!, we strive to help you make a lasting lifestyle change through education and support. Make sure to visit the Healthy Recipes page and try some new delicious meals!

While there’s no “magic bullet” for preventing high blood pressure, a smart diet and regular exercise can go a very long way toward keeping it at a healthy level.