Hypertension Prevention include maintaining a healthy weight; being physically active; following a healthy eating plan, that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods; choosing and preparing foods with less salt and sodium; and, if you drink alcoholic beverages, drinking in moderation. In this website, you will learn more about healthy lifestyle habits for hypertension prevention.
Step 1: Following a Healthy Eating Pattern
Research has shown that following a healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already elevated blood pressure.
Step 2: Reducing Salt and Sodium in Your Diet
A key to healthy eating is choosing foods lower in salt and sodium. Most Americans consume more salt than they need. The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams[mg] ) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. The 6 grams include ALL salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table. For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise eating less salt and sodium, as recent research has shown that people consuming diets of 1,500 mg of sodium had even better blood pressure lowering benefits. These lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better.
Step 3: Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Being overweight increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. In fact, blood pressure rises as body weight increases. Losing even 10 pounds can lower blood pressure — and it has the greatest effect for those who are overweight and already have hypertension.
Step 4: Being Physically Active
Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control high blood pressure. It also helps reduce your risk of heart disease. It doesn't take a lot of effort to become physically active.
Step 5: Limiting Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. It also can harm the liver, brain, and heart. Alcoholic drinks also contain calories, which matter if you are trying to lose weight. If you drink alcoholic beverages, have only a moderate amount — one drink a day for women; two drinks a day for men.
Step 6: Quitting Smoking
Smoking injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. This applies even to filtered cigarettes. So even though it does not cause high blood pressure, smoking is bad for anyone, especially those with high blood pressure. If you smoke, quit. If you don't smoke, don't start. Once you quit, your risk of having a heart attack is reduced after the first year. So you have a lot to gain by quitting.