12 ways to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level

Mark A. Mahoney

According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force estimates, high blood pressure affects around 45% of adults in the US Because high blood pressure is so common, it might be tempting to assume that it’s not a big problem.

But the truth is that when left untreated, high blood pressure can put you at risk for potentially life-threatening complications.

Past columns have focused on various aspects related to high blood pressure.

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Today’s column has a focus on lifestyle interventions that can assist us in controlling blood pressure and help to mitigate its negative consequences. Dietary intervention is one of the positive approaches that are covered in today’s column.

Access the links at the end of the column for a more encompassing look at high blood pressure including the importance of controlling blood pressure earlier in life.

Thanks to Medical News Today for much of the content in today’s column.

Anna Jones, a local dietician and nutritionist, slices an avocado to add to her heart healthy recipe, Friday Feb.  15, 2019.

diet

Managing the diet can be an effective way of preventing and treating high blood pressure.

Plant-based foods

A nutritious, balanced diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, vegetable and omega oils, and good quality, unrefined carbohydrates, such as whole grains. People who include animal products in their diet should trim the fat off and avoid processed meats.

Lowering pure intake

Experts recommend reducing salt consumption and increasing potassium intake to manage or prevent high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that people limit their salt intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and preferably reduce it to 1,500 mg. On average, individuals in the US currently consume more than 3,400 mg of sodium daily.

Nutritious fats

In moderation, plant-based sources of fats, such as avocados, nuts, olive oil, and omega oils, can provide benefits. People should limit their intake of saturated fats and trans fats, common in animal-sourced and processed foods.

Premier Fitness leads a Training Tuesdays yoga class at Goodwood Museum.

The DASH diet

Health experts recommend the DASH diet for people with high blood pressure. The DASH diet focuses on an eating plan that emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and low fat dairy products.

Which foods are good for reducing blood pressure? Find out by going to medicalnewstoday.com.

Alcohol

One study in women indicated that consuming some alcohol may help lower blood pressure. However, others report the opposite, noting that even drinking a moderate amount might increase blood pressure levels.

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