Diets to reduce high blood pressure focus on reduced sodium intake and weight loss. The DASH diet to avoid high blood pressure is an eating plan that is low in fat, rich in low fat dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and other plant foods. Following diets to reduce high blood pressure may also reduce the risk of developing heart diseases.
DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure. Most experts recommend that following DASH while reducing your sodium intake can effectively lower your blood pressure. There are a number of health supplements that can help, as well. Even strict adherence to a diet to avoid high blood pressure may not be enough alone. Other factors should be addressed as well.
There are many factors which contribute to high blood pressure. Smoking, obesity, chronic stress and genetics are among them. Any of these factors can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, as well.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things that a person can do for their health. Nicotine increases blood pressure. People who have high blood pressure or a tendency towards high blood pressure should not smoke.
Diets to reduce high blood pressure should address the obesity factor. No more than 30% of a person's total caloric intake should come from fat. In the Standard American Diet, sometimes referred to as SAD, the percentage of dietary fat is much higher. Many foods like ground beef are naturally high in fat. Even in lean or extra lean ground beef most of the calories come from fat. Chicken and turkey breast are better choices for the daily diet. Baked or grilled...not breaded or fried.
Regular physical activity is also important. If you follow a diet to avoid high blood pressure, but you are physically inactive, you may still have high blood pressure. Physical activity improves the function of the heart and the blood vessels. People who are physically active have lower resting heart rates and lower blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for the development of heart disease and stroke. Likewise, physical inactivity is related to an increased risk for heart disease.
A diet to avoid high blood pressure will require that you limit or cut out alcohol consumption. Alcohol causes a temporary increase in blood pressure that can become chronic. Alcohol also causes an increase in stress, anxiety and depression.
Chronic stress is one of the major risk factors for developing both high blood pressure and heart disease. Stress causes an increase in blood pressure. It is important to learn how to relieve stress on a daily basis. Regular exercise, yoga, meditation and certain dietary supplements can help.
In order to reduce sodium intake, most diets to reduce high blood pressure limit quantities of processed foods. You may not realize how much salt is in processed cheese, peanut butter, salad dressing and other processed foods. Many carbonated beverages are also high in sodium content. Water on the other hand, contains no salt, and is a natural diuretic.
Fluid retention is one of the health problems associated with high blood pressure. Prescription medications for high blood pressure are diuretics, but there are natural diuretics, including most fruits and vegetables. This is one reason that a diet to reduce high blood pressure is rich in fruits and vegetables. In particular, watermelon, citrus fruits, lettuce, celery and low-fat cottage cheese have a natural diuretic effect and can help you lose water weight. Salt and alcohol cause the body to retain more fluid. After a night of eating chips and drinking beer, you will typically find that you weigh about three more pounds than you did the day before.
Patsy Hamilton was a health care professional for over twenty years before becoming a health writer. Currently she is writing a series of articles about heart health. Read more at http://heart-health-diet-tips.com.
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