How to Prevent High Blood Pressure

One common misconception among Indians is that high blood pressure is common when one reaches the age of 35-40 years. But many of them are ignorant of the fact that there are people who never had high blood pressure throughout their life. In the past three decades, when the average blood pressure across the globe went down, it went up in India. Many people across the globe are aware of the potential risks associated with high blood pressure and hence are following effective measures to control/prevent it. But many in India are not doing so.

High blood pressure is a chronic disorder that increases the risks of heart diseases, strokes and other disorders. In order to protect yourself from all these you need to adapt a healthy change in your lifestyle. Following are few tips that can help you to either control or prevent high blood pressure.

  • Healthy diet: Switching to healthy foods helps in decreasing the risk of high blood pressure. Diet which includes fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods, foods low in saturated fat, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, red meats, sweets, and sugared beverages is proven to be good for reducing elevated blood pressures. Also reduce the intake of food which is full of high cholesterol and saturated fat.
  • Reduce sodium and salt: Taking less salty diet reduces the risk of getting high blood pressure. The current recommendation is to take less than 2.4 grams of sodium, which equals 6 grams (about 1 tea spoon) of table salt per day. For the people who already have high blood pressure the recommended intake is 1.5 grams a day as per the National Institute of Health (NIH), U.S.
  • Controlled weight: Reducing weight is also one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure. Keep your weight in control by taking low fat, low calorie foods along with regular physical activity. Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5 – 24.9 is considered to be healthy (normal) weight and anything over this is considered as overweight.
  • Quit unhealthy habits: Avoid unhealthy habits like alcohol, smoking and drug abuse. If you already have these habits, try to limit them. The recommended intake of alcohol is two drinks a day for men. One drink equals either 12 ounces (350 ml) of beer or 5 ounces (150ml) of wine or one and half ounces (5ml) of whiskey.
  • Physical activity: Regular exercise of 30 minutes a day or 5 days a week makes your heart healthy and also keeps your blood pressure down. Any activity which leaves you feel warm and slightly out of breath is said to be ideal for good health.

Uncontrolled disorders are always dangerous. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle we can stay away from high blood pressure and hence can protect ourselves from potential risks like heart diseases and strokes.

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