The majority of us are granted with a clean bill of health when we’re born, that our cells and organs are functioning at peak performance. But from the moment we take our first breath, our body begins to deteriorate, this by the foods and substances we inject.
What we’re immediately and commonly fed are poor nutritional foods, and we’ll adopt these bad eating habits which only contributes to unhealthy high blood pressure levels. As we grow older and reach middle age, our hypertension levels then begins to elevate.
Once we reach this stage of the aging process, what every health practitioner will tell you is to make better dietary adjustments, this by adopting a healthier low-fat diet.
The number one hazard and primary goal we need to avoid, becomes preventing or reducing the onset of elevated blood pressure affecting our cardiovascular system.
What needs to be known are the consequences of high blood pressure first, this before outlining what the best types of diets are, for reducing or stabilizing hypertension.
Hazards Of High Blood Pressure
What’s estimated is that up to 40% percent of all adults, this regardless of their background or ethnicity, suffers from varying degrees of high blood pressure.
What having high blood pressure does is places a strain on the heart, which causes the thickening of the blood vessels known as atherosclerosis. What this results in is damage to the heart.
The chain effect is kidney failure, coronary artery disease, eyesight failure, and stroke. To avoid further destruction of these major organs, begins with lowering high blood pressure.
Hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer, as it doesn’t show any effects. But once it hits a critical point in elevated blood pressure, is when hypertension strikes without notice, resulting in serious health consequences.
Know Your Blood Pressure Levels
What’s considered a normal blood pressure reading for a healthy adult who’s at rest, is 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic). Once the blood pressure level is greater than 120/80 but remains below 140/90, is considered the prehypertensive stage.
Blood pressure beyond 140/90 is considered the hypertensive stage. Anyone at the prehypertensive and especially the hypertensive range, should be making immediate diet, fitness, and lifestyle changes.
Weight And Blood Pressure
Those who are overweight usually by default has high blood pressure, so the simple solution is to just reduce this excessive weight, which then decreases the elevated levels.
Those who are obese doubles their risk. It’s found that losing just 10 pounds does is shows noticeable improvement.
Dietary Tips For High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure but are not overweight, there are several recommendations to lower your blood pressure. It begins with choosing a healthy well-balanced diet.
To reduce blood pressure, the diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, along with low-fat dairy foods. Avoid trans and saturated fats. The diet should be low in cholesterol, while high in potassium, fiber, calcium, and magnesium, including moderate protein.
What most health practitioners recommend is the DASH diet, (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), as being an approachable guide to reducing blood pressure.
And The Number One Culprit To High BP Is
Begin by reducing your sodium (salt) intake. What ingesting too much sodium rich foods does is increases thirst, which causes greater retention of water inside the body, resulting in bloating, a direct link to high blood pressure.
Salt also places too much strain on the blood vessels which dilates and constricts to regulate blood pressure and proper blood flow, which leads to high blood pressure. The recommended daily intake of salt for most is 2,400 mg.
Ways To Reduce Sodium Intake
There lies the problem as sodium is hiding everywhere. So begin by eating less precooked or processed foods, while eating as much natural fresh foods as possible.
Although sodium is also found in fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, meats, and dairy products, but usually in lower quantities than in processed foods that are bottled, canned, or frozen.
Foods That Are High In Sodium
There are a variety of common foods which are high in sodium. To avoid exceeding the recommended intake, it’s best to avoid the following foods, while choosing lower sodium alternates.
• Sauces – Especially ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard, steak sauce, soy sauce, salad dressing, baking soda, baking powder, bouillon cubes, meat tenderizer, garlic salt, and onion salt
• Salted Snacks – The worst being pretzels, peanuts, Tortilla chips, corn chips, potato chips
• Soup – Most instant powder soups, Ramen instant noodles, canned soups
• Pickled Foods – Such as relish, olives, cucumber, pickled herring, and sauerkraut
• Meats – Especially smoked and cured meats which contain sodium-nitrite, including hot dogs, bacon, bologna, corn beef, ham, sausage
• Dairy – Mass produced cheese spreads and cheap cheeses
• Drinks- Saccharin-flavored soda, club soda
• Cereals – Most ready to eat cereal, instant hot cereals
• Ready-to-Eat Processed Foods – Such as scalloped potatoes, instant rice, macaroni and cheese, most frozen dinners, frozen pizza and pot pies
Always Check Food Labels
Choose foods which are labeled as salt free or low in sodium. Especially avoid ingredients such as sodium nitrite, sodium sulfate, sodium proprionate, disodium phosphate, sodium hydroxide, sodium benzoate, and MSG.
Adopting A Lower Sodium Diet
Avoid adding more salt than necessary when cooking meals, use more herbs and spices instead. Avoid having salt on the dinner table, and never add salt to your salad.
If cooking with salt, switch instead to lemon juice, chili, or ginger for flavoring. Avoid all deli meats. Also thoroughly rinse seafood such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines which are canned in water.
When eating soup or stews, avoid canned processed soups, or switch to low-sodium labelled soups. The best is preparing your own from scratch. Instead on cooking with whole milk or butter, switch to skimmed buttermilk.