6 Ways to Prevent Hypertension - Hypertension Center - Everyday Health
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6 Ways to Prevent Hypertension
By Krisha McCoy, MS | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Making an effort to prevent high blood pressure can reduce your risk of
heart attack, stroke, and other serious illnesses. If you are at risk for
hypertension, take these steps to help prevent it.
High blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, increases your risk of developing many
serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney ...view middle of the document...
Maintain a healthy weight. When it comes to hypertension prevention, your
weight is crucial, says Dr. Ogedegbe. People who are overweight should try to
lose weight, and people of normal weight should avoid adding on any pounds. If
you are carrying extra weight, losing as little as 10 pounds can help prevent high
blood pressure. Talk with your doctor about the best weight for you.
2. Eat a balanced diet. Eating healthful foods can help keep your blood pressure
under control. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in
potassium, and limit your intake of excess calories, fat, and sugar. Consider
following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet, which
has been shown to help manage blood pressure.
3. Cut back on salt. For many people, eating a low-sodium diet can help keep
blood pressure normal. "The higher the sodium intake, the higher the blood
pressure," says Ogedegbe. You can cut back on your total salt intake by
avoiding high-sodium packaged and processed foods and not adding extra salt
to your meals. "I tell people to stay away from salt shakers," adds Ogedegbe
4. Exercise regularly. Get moving to prevent hypertension. "Physical activity is
crucial," says Ogedegbe. The more exercise you get, the better, but even a little
bit can help control blood pressure. Moderate exercise...