High blood pressure is a condition that affects millions of people at various points throughout their lives. The good news is that it is controllable through medication. Even better you can help keep it in line by taking some extra steps by adjusting your diet.
Your blood pressure can often increase alongside your weight. If you can take measures to control your diet and exercise, then it will help reduce high blood pressure. This means taking general steps to eat more healthily: avoid snacking between meals, reduce sugar intake, eat lots of protein, avoid excess carbs and processed foods, and other similar things. If you are unsure, then you can ask your doctor if he or she thinks your weight is contributing to your blood pressure. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution here so consult an expert if you are unsure.
Eating a Healthy Diet
Weight loss, alongside healthy eating, can help control your blood pressure. The first step is to keep a food diary. If you can track how your diet is affecting your blood pressure, then you can identify which are problem foods. In general, though it is a good idea to try and boost your potassium intake as this can help control the effects sodium is having on you. The best sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables, both of which are key ingredients in maintaining a healthy lifestyle regardless.
The effects of sodium on your blood pressure can vary, but reducing your intake always helps. As a rough guide, you will want to limit your sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day, though this could be lower for you depending upon other factors. To avoid it, you should consider some of the following. Double check food labels, you would be surprised just how much sodium is added to things.
Avoid processed foods; excess sodium does not just turn up naturally so if you are preparing meals with fresh ingredients then your sodium intake will naturally be lower. Do not add salt while cooking, this one is pretty obvious but most recipes do call for the addition of salt though removing it should not make a huge difference. If you are finding that everything suddenly tastes too bland, it is okay to increase your sodium to be close to what it was, then gradually decrease it. Your palette will acclimatise with time.
Limit your Alcohol Consumption
This is a bit of a strange one. In sufficiently small doses alcohol can decrease blood pressure. So having a glass of wine or two with a meal can help, but as with many things in life, an excess can cause problems. If you drink more then not only will you find an increase in your blood pressure, but it can limit the effectiveness of your medication.
Coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks – they can all make us feel better and provide energy. However, they can also increase your blood pressure particularly if you are not used to them. Again the effects are not the same for everyone and people who tend towards a high caffeine intake may find that they can continue at their usual levels. The key is to avoid a sudden increase. If you are in doubt at all, talk to your doctor about what is best for you.