Nutrition and Blood Pressure

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Posted on 26th April 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

The amount of force your blood exerts on your artery walls is commonly called blood pressure.  A normal adult blood pressure should fall below 140/85.  The higher number is the systolic pressure, which is the peak force when the heart contracts and pumps blood into circulation.  The lower number is the diastolic pressure, which measures the pressure that is exerted when the hear rests between beats.  If a person’s blood pressure is high, they are classified as having hypertension.  There are specific dietary guidelines established by nutritionists and dietitian that a person with hypertension should follow to help reduce high blood pressure and any complications that can result.

Experts agree that diet can directly affect high blood pressure.  A healthy diet can prevent and treat high blood pressure.  One of the best ways to improve your diet to reduce or prevent hypertension is to cut back on eating processed foods, which contain large quantities of salt and unhealthy preservatives and fats.  Not all salts are the same.  Processed foods contain salts that are toxic to the body and have no beneficial minerals.  Natural sea salt is full of important minerals the body needs to function properly.  Cutting out processed foods and pickled foods can help to reduce unhealthy sodium.

A high fat diet can cause weight gain and high blood pressure.  No more than 30 percent of your caloric intake should come from fat.  Of the 30 percent, only 10 percent should come from saturated animal fats.  Cutting back on butter, margarine; drinking skim milk; choosing lean cuts of meat; and cooking your foods by broiling instead of frying or sautéing can help to reduce calories.

Excess weight can also contribute to hypertension.  Even a few extra pounds can increase your risk for high blood pressure.  One of the best ways to return blood pressure to normal is to reduce any excess weight you may have gained.  Do not use crash diets because they can cause you to gain more weight later on and could lead to a heart attack.  A sensible eating plan and exercise is the best way to loose weight safely and to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

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