Many good studies show that each of these changes can reduce blood pressure.
Cut down gradually and your palate will adjust to not adding salt in the kitchen or at the table. Season well with herbs, spices, pepper, garlic, mustard powder, vinegar, lemon, etc. Watch out for high-sodium seasonings like soy sauce.
Remember that most of the salt consumed by the nation comes in processed foods. Read those labels and use fresh ingredients when possible.
Every day, eat at least four portions of fruit and four portions of vegetables (including plenty of pulses) to boost potassium and magnesium intake. Have two or three servings a day of very low-fat dairy products to keep up your calcium.
Excess alcohol raises blood pressure; cutting down reduces it. The maximum allowance on any one day is 4 units for a man and 3 for a woman. But 1 or 2 units (e.g. 1 glass of wine) on most days would be Better.
Losing that fat can lower your pressure. In fact, one analysis predicts that a weight loss of 12 kg (less than 2 stone) will produce a fall in blood pressure of 21/13 mmHg – a very significant reduction.
Of course, in any individual, the actual change in blood pressure will be influenced by other factors (such as salt and alcohol intake) which are changing at the same time.
To reduce body fat, the first move is to eat less fat. For the sake of your arteries, avoid saturated fat wherever you can.
Move your body and master your pressure. Studies have now confirmed that when physical activity is increased, the resting blood pressure is reduced. Remember to increase very gradually from your present level of activity.
- Have your blood pressure checked (unless you have had a normal reading in the last year)
- Follow this SAFE plan for salt, alcohol, fat, and exercise:
- Eat at least eight servings of fruit and vegetables (including plenty of pulses) every day
- Have three servings of very low-fat dairy products a day
- If you have been prescribed a drug for high blood pressure, take it regularly and never stop it without medical supervision.