High blood pressure (hypertension) is a prevalent condition in the U.S., with 108 million or 45 percent of the population ailing from it. There are diets you can take to lower or control your blood pressure. Foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium are proven to prevent and also lower blood pressure.
Such hypertension-controlling foods include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. To keep the ailment at bay, you should also consume fat-free/low-fat proteins and dairy products, e.g., poultry, fish, nuts, etc. Such foods lower cholesterol levels in the blood and may prevent hypertension.
Apart from the diets, it is also essential to beware of risk factors that cause high blood pressure and avoid them. Some simple lifestyle changes are vital for preventing this potentially fatal condition and help you to live a healthier lifestyle.
The Link Between High Blood Pressure and Your Diet
When you experience high blood pressure, there is abnormal pressure on the arteries or blood vessels. Diets have a definite impact on high/low blood pressure levels, even though it is challenging to know all causes of hypertension. High blood pressure has other effects like making you susceptible to heart and kidney diseases.
Some foods prevent high blood pressure or lower it, and there are also foods that trigger hypertension. To identify such foods, you need to know the ingredients catalyzing or preventing the disease. It will then be easy to discern which food groups to avoid and which ones to make a part of your diet.
Foods rich in minerals (potassium, calcium, nitrates, etc.), nutrients (vitamins, fiber, proteins, etc.), amino acids, probiotics, among others, are the best defenders against hypertension. The ingredients help the blood vessels to dilate and decrease the chances of pressure on the arteries.
Diets that trigger blood pressure are mainly processed foods with high saturated fat, sugar, caffeine, and salt content. Sugar increases insulin levels which in turn increases the heart rate and blood pressure. Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine also has an immediate impact on blood pressure levels.
Diets With High Blood Pressure in Mind
A healthy eating plan is the ultimate solution for keeping high blood pressure at arm’s length. Figuring out what to eat and what to avoid every day enables you to stay healthy. To make such choices palatable, experts recommend trying a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, with proven and tested effectiveness.
The DASH plan consists of healthy foods you can eat daily and in specific quantities. Up to eight food groups consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats, nuts & legumes, among others, are listed against portions to serve daily. The goal is to ensure that you consume up to no more than 2,000 calories in a day.
A healthy eating plan also means avoiding harmful food to the heart. Such detrimental foods include red meats, fatty foods, sweets, and sweetened beverages. An easy way of discerning unhealthy food, especially processed and packaged ones, is to scrutinize the labels. Labels with saturated fats and high sodium content will have adverse effects on your cholesterol levels.
Some habits like adding sugar, salt, etc., to food seem minute but cumulatively over time have grave consequences for your blood pressure. Avoiding such habits and also removing dairy products from your diet may help prevent hypertension.
The Risks Associated with High Blood Pressure
Healthy diets are one of the critical factors to avoid high blood pressure diagnosis. Other factors include exercising, avoiding alcohol, and not smoking. Focus on diets is important because food is a basic need of the body, consumed daily, and hence most susceptible to abuse. Unhealthy food choices usually begin as random snacking and transform to daily meal intake if it goes unabated.
Busy lifestyles compel many people to consume fast foods making them culprits to unhealthy eating. The meals are likely to contain foods high in sodium, fat, and sugar content, and it is only a matter of time before the repercussions of unhealthy eating catch up with you. Apart from unhealthy diets, other factors are causing high blood pressure, some unknown. However, healthy diets still play a crucial role in preventing and curing hypertension.
High blood pressure makes one vulnerable to other diseases and is one of the known aneurysm risk factors. Other risks associated with having high blood pressure are heart attack, heart failure, and dementia. Monitoring the quality and quantity of what you eat in every meal is essential to keep the bad foods out of your system. There are foods which even though consumed in small portions, have large amounts of unhealthy ingredients.
Eat Healthy, Avoid High Blood Pressure
The bottom line is to make healthy choices in each meal and, before you know it, it becomes a lifestyle. Healthy eating does not have to be a bland affair as there are many mouth-watering recipes available to make tantalizing dishes out of healthy ingredients. Choose to stay healthy and keep disease away.