High blood pressure – also called hypertension – which is a leading cause of deaths in the U.S. is also known to increase the risk for heart diseases and stroke. It usually comes with little or no symptoms and is dubbed a “silent killer” that quietly damages blood vessels and leading to serious health issues. However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent high blood pressure (hypertension); and it can also be applied by people who already high blood pressure. This write-up focuses on how you can manage your blood pressure through healthy dieting.
For this article, the DASH diet approach is what we’ll be centering on as it has proven to be the best when it comes to lowering blood pressure through dieting.
DASH which is short for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension is a lifelong eating plan that is tailored towards managing blood pressure. It was originally developed by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The diet focuses on meal size, eating an assortment of foods while also getting the right amount of nutrients.
To live a healthy life, it is advised that we eat a diet that is rich in: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, nuts and legumes, oils, poultry and fish as they are rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium which help in lowering blood pressure: while avoiding the following: red meat, sodium, artificial sweeteners etc.
The DASHdiet is meant for managing blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity. The effectiveness of these diets is ranked according to seven categories; which include safety, nutritional value, short-term weight loss results, long-term loss results, ease at which it can be followed, prevention of heart disease, prevention and management of diabetes.
The key to the DASH diet is for the user to focus on eating the foods you prefer but also choose lean proteins and healthy fats so as to make your stomach filled, so that you don’t feel unsatisfied.
The DASH diet has been proven scientifically to lower blood pressure and cholesterol level. With its strategic response to preventing hypertension, people on the diet have noticed a steady loss of extra weight leading it to gain popularity as a weight-loss diet.Besides the benefit of lowering blood pressure, the DASH diet is also known to offer other health benefits like prevention of heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.
By following the steps and methods given below,you willbe able to lower blood pressure, ensuring that you live a healthy life; thus, increasing your life expectancy, but it would take a life time to manage your hypertensive condition.
- Know your numbers. In order to know about the status of your blood pressure, you need to have it checked. If it is diagnosed that you have high blood pressure, you can start managing it early. It will certainly be in your best interest to know your blood pressure so as to know what further actions are to be taken.
- Read food labels. You should cultivate the habit of reading food labels so as t make you wisely choose foods that suit you. You need to stay away from foods that have saturated fats or trans-fat that can increase your cholesterol level.
- Watch your salt intake. Foods high in sodium (salt) usually increase your blood pressure; to manage your blood pressure effectively lowering the intake of foods with high sodium concentration is a must.
- Limit the intake of alcohol. Too much intake of alcohol has been known to increase blood pressure. It is recommended that men limit alcohol intake to a maximum of two drinks per day and for women to take at most one.
- Exercise regularly or engage in physical activity. By exercising regularly or engaging in physical activity, you can manage your weight, toughen your heart and lower your fatigue level. For a healthy blood pressure, you need a healthy weight, a strong heart and an overall emotional wellbeing. Physical activity like walking in addition to a DASH diet regimen can be really beneficial if it is done regularly as it lowers your cholesterol level and blood pressure. It becomes harmful when you remain inactive and you are not living a healthy lifestyle. To make exercising interesting and less of a chore, it is advised you find something that interests you like bicycling or swimming or any activity at all that makes you exert physical strength. But in doing exercise it is also advisable that you don’t overdo it to prevent injuries or sore muscles.
- Take your medications properly. To accompany the DASH diet regimen, you should take your medications seriously. In the battle with high blood pressure, you should always stick to your doctor’s recommendation. Ensure that you do not abuse your drugs. Since high blood pressure is a lifelong condition, you should be committed in properly managing it: do what is asked of you by the doctor but do not go overboard with your medications. Be aware of the effects that certain drugs have on you.