Hypertension – How to say goodbye to hypertension

Hypertension which is a lifestyle disease is now rampant in many countries. It is usually a result of excessive intake of saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids, along with higher consumption of salt and sugar. All these collectively increase the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases including hypertension. . Hypertension is a condition associated with increased risk for stroke, cardiac failure, renal failure and peripheral vascular disease.

Here are some facts about hypertension that are listed by WHO

  • Hypertension is a major cause of premature death worldwide.
  • In 2015, 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women had hypertension.
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 people with hypertension have the problem under control.
  • One of the global targets for non-communicable diseases is to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025 (baseline 2010).

(ref: https://www.who.int/news-room)

Some of the important factors that contribute to increased risk of hypertension are unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. People who are insufficiently physically active have a 20–30% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity.
(Source: https://www.who.int/nmh/publications/ncd_report_chapter1.pdf)

How can we reduce hypertension?

Hypertension needs to be checked to reduce mortality rate. One of the best ways of doing so is having a healthy diet through managing weight, limiting alcohol and sodium intake, and increasing consumption of vegetable, fruit, whole grain and low-fat dairy products.

Early intervention

Keeping hypertension at bay begins as early as the breastfeeding stage. It has been seen that adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes as compared to those who weren’t.

Reduce salt intake

One should limit salt intake to not more than 5 grams of salt per day can which can result in a decline in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure of > 10 mmHg.

Reducing fat intake

Avoid animal fat, stick margarine, vegetable shortenings and commercial bakery and deep-fried foods. All these foods is said to contain trans fat which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Reduce fat intake in general and avoid eating food rich in animal fat, such as red meat, processed meat and butter, and eat olive oil and fish oil instead.

Managing Stress

When one experiences stress, he or she is more likely to engage in other behaviors, such as increased consumption alcohol or eating unhealthy food. This can adversely affect blood pressure.

Several studies have explored how reducing stress can help lower blood pressure.

Listening to soothing music

Calming music can help relax your nervous system. Research has shown it’s an effective complement to other blood pressure therapies.

Work less

Working a lot, and under stressful circumstances can lead to high blood pressure.

Quit Smoking

Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure. Smoking is not only makes people prone to cancer but also increases the blood pressure level.

Weight management

Maintain a healthy body weight (For most adults, an ideal body mass index is in the range of18.5 to 24.9 ). Exercising regularly is a good way of keeping body weight in control.

Also Read:

Daily Food Intake
Avoid these 5 foods which are rich in trans fat

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