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.
Why talk about 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.
|Weight loss||For overweight or obese persons, lose weight, ideally attaining a BMI <25 kg/sq.m.|
|Reduced salt intake||Lower 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 intake||For those who drink alcohol, consume <2 alcoholic drinks/d (men) and <1 alcoholic drink/d (women).|
|Physical activity||Engage 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.
Worried about Hypertension? We can help you
Genetic Counsellors at Mapmygenome can help you understand patterns of hypertension based on your health history. Our tests Genomepatri™ and Cardiomap™ can help you understand your genetic risk for hypertension and related complications. Following the tests, our Genetic Counsellors will correlate these findings with your health history and give a comprehensive set of action plans for a healthy life.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800-102-4595. Today!