Take the Load off your Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure is commonly found alongside other chronic medical conditions and a major risk factor for heart conditions, kidney disease, and cognitive decline. It is a condition impacting even young people, with 1 in 5 young Indian’s being diagnosed and more than half adults have not even had their blood pressure checked.

Having high blood pressure may not always present symptoms, however in the long term may lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke if not controlled early on. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg.

There are a few simple things we can do to try and take off the load to reduce blood pressure.

Reduce intake of processed foods

Processed foods usually contain a high amount of salt (sodium), which is a factor for increasing BP. Our body needs sodium, the recommended daily amount is less than 2300 mg of sodium per day, however when we are regularly in excess of sodium this may contribute to high blood pressure. Below are some examples of high sodium/salt foods, which you may choose to enjoy occasionally in small quantities:

  • Packaged namkeen snacks
  • Packaged sauces
  • Salt added to foods
  • Biscuits and chips
  • Pickles
  • Fried foods
  • Breads and cereals
  • Take away foods

TIPS:

  • Try using more herbs and spices for flavour to help reduce the overall salt intake in foods
  • Keep up your fluid intake to help your kidneys remove as much excess salt as possible
  • Opt for high fibre cereals and breads
  • For any canned foods or sauces, find those that have ‘low sodium’ or ‘salt reduced’ labelled
  • Include a variety of fresh foods, vegetables and fruits and try and make homemade snacks wherever possible using less salt

Reduce intake of alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol may increase BP, and having more than three standard drinks in one sitting can impact blood pressure temporarily. Drinking regularly and especially in larger quantities than three drinks can impact the blood pressure long term. If you are taking certain medications for blood pressure, alcohol may also impact their effectiveness.

Keep up regular physical activity

One way to keep your heart healthy is by keeping up regular physical activity. With a stronger heart, more blood can be pumped in the body with less pressure and effort. In general for healthy people, the recommendations are to do 30 minutes of physical activity for five days a week. It is important to follow the advice given by your general practitioner (GP) for exercise if your blood pressure remains high or seek help from an exercise physiologist. Try to find activities that are enjoyable to help make physical activity sustainable in the long term.

Please note this advice is of a general nature. If you have any concerns or queries you should get tailored advice from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and always consult with your General Practitioner before making any changes. Feel free to contact us if you require any specific Dietitian advice.

Written by Accredited Practicing Dietitian Deevya Gupta

www.abcofnutrition.com.au

Phone: 0450066683

Email: [email protected]

Gday India Article December 2021

Written by Accredited Practicing Dietitian Deevya Gupta