|High Blood Pressure Lifestyle Education|
What You Can Do to Help Your High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major health concern for any patient. Certain steps can be taken to help with the prevention and maintenance of high blood pressure. Most patients with high blood pressure will be on some form of medication. In addition to the medication, patients can help themselves by changing the way they eat, increase their physical activity, as well as losing weight and quitting smoking if needed.
What Should I Be Eating?
Healthy eating to help reduce blood pressure starts with reducing the amount of sodium (salt) you are taking in as well as increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while exchanging high fat meats and dairy for lean meats and low fat dairy.
People with high blood pressure need to watch the amount of fat taken in since you are at a higher risk of heart disease.
Increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains increases the amount of fiber which helps to keep you healthy.
Why do I have to limit the amount of sodium? How much can I have?
Sodium, or salt, causes the body to hold on to fluid. The more fluid the body holds onto, the harder the heart has to work. This increases your blood pressure. Common signs that you are getting in too much sodium are swelling in the hands and the feet. Sodium should be limited to no more than 2300mg per day. The easiest ways to limit sodium is to not add salt to foods, that includes some seasoning blends, and to limit preprocessed foods or foods that are ready to eat. By using seasoning blends such as Mrs. Dash and by choosing less canned and packaged goods, you will reduce the amount of sodium you take in by at least half.
And don’t forget to get active! At least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week. All you have to do is walk!