Posted May 6, 2008 – If you’re at risk for high blood pressure, you can fight back. Here are some suggestions from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute:
- Aim for a healthy weight.
- Choose foods lower in fat and calories.
- Eat smaller portions.
- Try not to gain extra weight. Lose weight if you are overweight. Try losing weight slowly, about half to one pound each week, until you reach a healthy weight.
- Be physically active every day.
- Eat less salt and sodium.
- Read the food label. Choose foods with less salt and sodium.
- Prepare lower-sodium meals from scratch instead of using convenience foods that are high in sodium.
- Use spices, herbs, and salt-free seasoning blends instead of salt.
- Use only small amounts of cured or smoked meats for flavor.
- Use less salt when cooking.
What else can you do?
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- Add spice to your life. When you cook, try adding herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables in meals and as snacks.
- Add more vegetables to stews and casseroles.
- Serve fruit as a dessert more often.
- Be active every day.
- Walk a little further each day, or walk to the bus stop.
- Dance, skip, jump, run . . . take every opportunity to move your body.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Cut back on alcoholic beverages. Alcohol raises blood pressure. Alcohol also adds calories and may make it harder to lose weight. Men who drink should have no more than two drinks a day. Women who drink should have no more than one drink a day. Pregnant women should not drink any alcohol.
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