Hypertension is rising at an alarming rate, but with a few smart food choices such as checking your sodium intake, hope is still in sight. It’s not fair to blame your genes or everyday stress for your high blood pressure, as there are many more reasons why hypertension has become the epidemic that it is now. The numbers are increasing by the day, and the incidence of this ailment is being seen in young individuals, barely in their twenties. And when that happens, it can lead to constant wear and tear of multiple body systems besides wreaking havoc on our hearts. While we can't con-trol some factors like say, our age or our genes, we can definitely put out lifestyle and the food we eat in order and help keep it at bay.
Tips To Keep Hypertension At Bay
Kavita Devgan, Nutritionist, Tata Salt Lite explains vital tips to keep high blood pressure levels in check:
1. Check the sodium intake
Why is this important? Well, the mechanism is clear: an increase in sodium in the blood increases the blood volume that affects the heart. This phenomenon results in high blood pressure and cho-lesterol in the body. High sodium in the body also tampers with the kidney functions, and hampers in the removal of extra water from the blood, and that again contributes to hypertension.
Thus make a branded low sodium salt a part of your everyday diet. Opt for Salt with at least 15% less sodium from a trusted brand is advisable.
Also Read: Overview of Hypertension
2. Eat more fruits
Have you heard about fruits latest superpower? Well, they can help cut high blood pressure to size. This is important because besides keeping our salt intake in check, we should also look at boosting our intake of potassium (K). The benefit of potassium is simple - it neutralizes sodium and thus helps prevent high BP. So make sure you have at least two good sources of potassium every day.
3. Cut sugar
Sugar is as much a devil in hypertension as salt. That is because high blood pressure and insulin resistance (which results from eating a diet too high in sugar) tend to go hand-in-hand. As your insulin level elevates, so does your blood pressure. So keep added sugar level in the diet to less than 10% of the calorie requirement per day.
4. Get rid of trans fats
Consumption of trans fats leads to hypertension. So avoid all trans fats or hydrogenated fats that have been modified in such a way to extend their shelf-life. This includes fried foods (made in re-peated use oils), margarine, vegetable oils, and various butter-like spreads. So chuck them from your diet ASAP.
5. Cut stress
There is a special category that is called stress-related hypertension, and stress has direct relation with high BP. Multiple other behaviours like overeating, drinking alcohol, and poor sleeping habits that cause high blood pressure are liked to stress. These short-term stress-related spikes in the blood pressure add up over time and may put you at risk of developing long-term high blood pres-sure.
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