Hypertension Is Preventable

Elevated blood pressure (BP) or hypertension remains an extraordinarily common strong, consistent, continuous, independent, and etiologically relevant risk factor for cardiovascular and renal diseases, including stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.

Complications of hypertension

Why talk about Hypertension?

Risk factors for hypertension

Elevated BP results from environmental factors, genetic factors, and interactions among these factors. Of the environmental factors that affect BP (diet, physical inactivity, toxins and psychosocial factors), dietary factors have a prominent, and likely predominant, role in BP homeostasis.

Lifestyle Modifications That Effectively Prevent Hypertension

In nonhypertensive individuals, including those with prehypertension, dietary changes that lower BP have the potential to prevent hypertension and more broadly to reduce BP and thereby lower the risk of BP-related clinical complications.

Lifestyle ModificationsRecommendation
Weight lossFor overweight or obese persons, lose weight, ideally attaining a BMI <25 kg/sq.m.
Reduced salt intakeLower salt intake as much as possible, ideally to 1.5 g/d of sodium or3.8 g/d sodium chloride.
DASH-type dietary patterns (in consultation with your nutritionist)Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (8–10 servings/d), rich in low-fat dairy products (2–3 servings/d), and reduced unsaturated fat and cholesterol.
Increased potassium intake (in consultation with your GP)Increase potassium intake to 120 mmol/d (4.7 g/d).
Moderation of alcohol intakeFor those who drink alcohol, consume <2 alcoholic drinks/d (men) and <1 alcoholic drink/d (women).
Physical activityEngage in regular aerobic physical activity as brisk walking  30 minutes a day (most days of the week).

Aim for less than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon of salt) each day. Do you eat processed foods or meals away from home each week? Processed foods can be convenient, but they are often high in sodium.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy. These foods not only contribute significant amounts of key nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein, but also, help control blood pressure. Stick to whole fruits and veggies.


Summing It Up

Hypertension is a preventable condition. Awareness and some lifestyle changes can help you prevent hypertension, which can lead to many other life-threatening conditions.

Prevent hypertension

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About the Author

Dr. Lakshmi Addala is a Senior Genetic Counsellor and Nutrition Expert at Mapmygenome. She is a firm believer in healthy living through the right diet.

For a health history consultation with Dr. Lakshmi, write to info@mapmygenome.in or call 1800-102-4595. Today!