Practical recommendations to lower your blood pressure

Do you have high blood pressure? Has your doctor told you that you should lower the amount of salt or sodium you consume? How can you do it? In Life and Health we give you easy recommendations that you can follow both at home and when you go out to eat.

Do not stress, it sounds more complicated than it really is. First of all, you have to know what is high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is having high blood pressure persistently. It is defined as the systolic pressure above 140 mm Hg and / or the diastolic pressure above 90 mm Hg. Hypertension is increasingly common in our adult population and unfortunately we see more and more children and adolescents with it. This disease must be treated properly since it can be a risk factor for many diseases such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, among others.

The simple fact of modifying your lifestyle can make a big impact in reducing your hypertension and consequently decrease the risk of acquiring some other disease. The 4 factors that are recommended to modify are:

  1. Lose weight (if you are overweight),
  2. Avoid drinking alcohol,
  3. Increase physical activity (at least 30 minutes 3 times a week)
  4. Decrease salt intake (maximum 2.4g of sodium or 6g of table salt per day)

Tips to reduce sodium consumption

  • One teaspoon of table salt equals 2,300mg (2.3g) of sodium
  • If you want to consume less than 2.4g of sodium per day you should limit the amount you use to cook. You could replace the salt with salt substitutes like “Mrs. Dash “or season foods with herbs (note that they do not contain salt or sodium).
  • Always read the food nutrition label and look at the amount of sodium (sodium) it contains. The less sodium content is better.

Eating out

  • Avoid fast food restaurants, because these foods are usually prepared with lots of salt.
  • Ask how the food you want to order is prepared. Request that the food be prepared without adding salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG) or ingredients containing salt. Many restaurants are willing to respect these requests.
  • Familiarize yourself with condiments and high-sodium foods such as pickles, chicken broth, soy sauce, cured foods such as ham, etc.
  • Do not add salt to your food.
  • Limit condiments such as mustard, ketchup, and other sauces that contain salt.
  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of salty foods like potatoes, peanuts, or canned vegetables. Select canned vegetables that say they did not add salt (“no added salt”).

Medicines

  • Many medicines without a prescription contain a lot of sodium, for example, the Alka Seltzer.
  • Consult your pharmacist or your doctor

Remember that you must read the nutrition labels (Nutrition Facts) of each food you buy to assess whether it is a high sodium food or not.

If you pay attention to these things, you will see that soon your blood pressure will fall and will be better controlled.

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