The No-Pressure Way to Beat Hypertension
The next time you find yourself in an elevator with two other people, know that odds are one of you suffers from high blood pressure.
Yes, life is full of ups and downs – and nowhere is that more true than the matter of blood pressure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high blood pressure affects about 75 million U.S. adults. The news gets worse: Only about half of those folks work to control their blood pressure – and that leads to a great risk of heart disease and stroke.
Not sure if you are a statistic? Hypertension – the scientific name for high blood pressure – is often referred to as “the silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms.
However, if your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain things to look out for, including:
- Severe headache
- Fatigue or confusion
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
- Pounding in your chest, neck or ears
Okay, so now that we did our best to frighten you into action, we can offer a bit of good news. The easiest way to control your blood pressure is to drop a few pounds and to follow a healthy diet.
A few weeks back we touted the DASH diet as a proven way to control your blood pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. But did you know that Meal Plan Map offers a delicious and easy to follow Hypertension-Friendly Plan?
This no-pressure eating plan helps lower blood pressure by slashing your sodium intake to less than 1,500mg of sodium daily. Our chefs know that food without salt can be bland, so we’ve added yummy herbs and seasonings to create ultra-flavorful meals for you.
Our Hypertension-Friendly Plan automatically populates your meal plan calendar with delicious recipes created by culinary experts and analyzed by registered dietitians – and everything you eat is based on your personal goals and preferences. This plan has also been compared to the DASH Diet, which means it is a proven, effective way to get healthy and stay that way.
According to the renowned Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually, so don’t think past positive checkups have left you risk-free.
Over time, high blood pressure strains the heart, increasing your risk of developing heart disease, heart failure, heart attack or stroke.
Mayo Clinic doctors recommend that you ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years starting at age 18. If you’re age 40 or older, or you’re 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.
Don’t see a doctor regularly? You may be able to get a free blood pressure screening at a health fair or your local pharmacy.
Meanwhile, lifestyle changes can help. We touched on dietary changes that involve cutting sodium, but you should also slash total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, while you boost your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
But you should also get active. This can be as easy as taking a brisk 10-minute walk 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
Also, do not smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.