How Thousands of People are Ignorantly Killing Themselves
Each meal you consume is delicious and tasty. That is one reason you do not even bother to find out how it affects your health. You are only just concerned about satisfying your taste bud. But by the time you realize that what you are doing is wrong, things might have already gotten out of hand. So, have in mind that food can affect your blood pressure.
Hypertension is a silent killer. It doesn’t give signals like other ailments. The only way to detect it is through a regular checkup, but most people have failed to comply. According to the WHO, over 7.5 million people lose their lives to due to blood pressureissues on a yearly basis.
Without much ado, here is how food can affect your blood pressure, plus tips to stay healthy.
- Taking excess salt
When discussing blood pressure issues, organs like the kidney is almost never mentioned. But heavy salt consumption can damage or throw this bean-shaped organ off balance. And the heart and blood pressuremay as well face the repercussions.
The work of the kidney is to filter and discard toxins or any unwanted fluid from all the cells in the body. And they filter over 120 quarts of blood every single day. But the thing is heavy salt consumption can make it difficult for the kidneys to perform their usual duties of fluid elimination. And failure to do so causes it to build up in one’s system, leading to an increase in one’s blood pressure levels. The best advice is to limit salt consumption. Below are helpful tips.
Tips to help you limit salt intake
- Always check nutritional labels of processed foods for salt level before consumption. Find out if the amount of salt in the diet is in the right proportion before eating.
- Reduce sodium consumption to at least 2,400 mg every day.
- Try to cook with less salt, and ensure there is no salt shaker on your table to prevent temptation.
- Choose processed foods with the “no salt added” or “low-sodium.” You will discover this on the product label.
- Excess alcohol intake
Alcohol consumption can have both positive and negative effects on blood pressure. Studies have demonstrated that low or moderate use of alcohol can help guide against heart attack, high blood pressure and other forms of cardio diseases.
In moderation, alcohol does more good than harm. It is said to affect the wall of the blood vessels and cause alteration of their elasticity, which changes how they react to specific stress messages transported by hormones. And this helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the workload on one’s heart. In fact, studies have shown that a pint of wine on daily basis can lower one’s chances of having heart attack significantly.
Consuming alcohol in excess amount can increase blood pressure, according to studies. It causes stiffness of the blood vessel to increase, raises metabolic stress levels and gives the heart more tasks than it can handle.
Alcohol also contains high calories which lead to weight gain or obesity when consumed in excess. And don’t forget that obesity is one of the factors responsible for increased blood pressure.
- Excess sugar intake
Alcohol and salt are not the only things that cause high blood pressure. Sugar is also a culprit. And if you discover you are not losing weight after reducing your calorie intake, you may have to check your sugar level because it can make your weight loss effort futile.
Sugar is present in many foods either artificially added or naturally. It helps to sweeten foods to please the taste bud. But the fact that sugar acts as a sweetener is not enough to consume so much. Behind the sweetness are more calories, which is not ideal for someone whose focus is to lose weight and keep fit. The excess calories lead to obesity which can cause high blood pressure in the long run.
Tips to help you limit sugar intake
- Reduce consumption of refined sugar. Unrefined or natural sugar from fruits or raw honey is better than the artificial ones. But try to consume sparingly.
- Before consuming any processed food, check product label to know its sugar level.
- Limit your beverages to water or herbal tea. And consume coffee in moderation, at least one or two cups per day.
The American Heart Association (AHA), this is the amount of sugar recommended for men and women on a daily basis.
Daily Amount of Sugar for Men
- 9 teaspoons or 37.5 grams
- 150 calories
Daily Amount of Sugar for women
- 6 teaspoons or 25 grams
- 100 calories
Lifestyle changes that can help you manage blood pressure without drugs
If you have been diagnosed with HPB, there is no need to panic. Remember your lifestyle played a significant role in placing you in this condition, and it can also help you to manage it successfully. In fact, making a couple of lifestyle changes can help delay, reduce or even prevent you from using medication for high blood pressure. Here are lifestyle changes you can make starting today.
- Pay attention to your waistline
Try to lose weight and pay close attention to your waistline, as having too much weight in your waist area will expose you to higher risk. Have in mind that men and women whose waistline is 40 and 35 inches are at higher risk of having BP.
- Engage in regular exercise
Be serious about physical activities the same way you are regarding food consumption. Exercising for just 30 minutes can lower your blood pressure to about 5 mm Hg or more. And you can engage in regular exercise whether you are hypertensive or not. However, most of the aerobic exercises that can help to reduce your blood pressure are; dancing, swimming, jogging, walking, and cycling.
- No more smoking
If you want your blood pressure to return to its normal state, you have to put an end to smoking. And if you are finding it difficult to get your mind off it, don’t be afraid to seek help. Quitting this act will boost your health in general and reduce risks of heart disease.
- Avoid stress
Career and family might put so much pressure on you that you may forget to rest even when you are exhausted. You may want to impress by accomplishing every single task, but remember you are putting your health at high risk. Rest whenever you get tired. And have plenty of sleep.
The food you eat on a daily basis can affect your blood pressure and overall health in the long run. So you need to be extremely careful about what you eat or drink. You also need to change certain lifestyle and habit that does not promote good health. Start today to take better control of your health. You can also get clues about your blood pressure via the blood pressure chart.