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YOU MAY HAVE A HIGHER RISK OF HAVING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE IF YOU ARE IN ONE OF THESE

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  • People with blood relatives who have high blood pressure, like a father, mother or sibling
  • Men over the age of 55
  • Women over the age of 65
  • Post menopausal women
  • African Americans, especially women
  • Some women who take birth control pills
  • People who get little or no regular physical activity
  • People who smoke
  • People who are overweight
  • People with high cholesterol
  • People with diabetes

 

 

 

Tips for getting more accurate blood pressure (BP) readings.

If you have a blood pressure monitor, use it to keep on top of your blood pressure. Keep track of your blood pressure between doctor visits and discuss your results with your healthcare professional.
Here are some ways to help you get accurate blood pressure readings:
Your BP monitor's cuff should easily wrap around your upper arm with a few inches of slack. BP cuffs do come in different sizes, so check to make sure you find one that fits. If it's too tight, you may get an inaccurate reading.

Headache or other over-the-counter medications containing caffeine should be avoided before measuring BP.

Sit quietly and take two readings a few minutes apart and then average the results. Your healthcare professional may ask you to check your BP at different times of the day to assess the effects of any medication you may be taking.
To average your results, add your blood pressure numbers together and divide by two. For example if your readings were:
Reading 1: 140/90
Reading 2: 136/88
Add the top two numbers: 140 + 136 = 276
Divide the result by 2: 276 ÷ 2 = 138
Add the bottom two numbers: 90 + 88 = 178
Divide the result by 2: 178 ÷ 2 = 89
Your average blood pressure in this example would be 138/89 mm Hg.

Hypertension:

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The Dash Diet
One of the simplest and most effective ways to lower your blood pressure is to eat a healthy diet. Doctors recommend:

  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods.
  • Cutting back on foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat.
  • Eating more whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts
  • Eating less red meat and sweets
  • Eating foods that are rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium

The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is an example of such an eating plan. In studies, patients who were on the DASH diet reduced their blood pressure within two weeks. Another diet – DASH-Sodium – calls for reducing sodium (salt) to 1,500 mg a day (about 2/3 teaspoon). Studies of patients on the DASH-Sodium plan significantly lowered their blood pressure.

 

Implementing the DASH Diet


http://www.dietriffic.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/label.jpgThe DASH diet calls for a certain number of servings daily for various food groups. The number of servings you require may vary, depending on your caloric need. When beginning the diet, start slowly and make gradual changes. Consider adopting a diet plan that allows 2,400 milligrams of salt per day (about 1 teaspoon) and then once your body has adjusted to the diet further lower your salt intake to 1,500 mg per day (about 2/3 teaspoon). These amounts include all salt consumed, including that in food products, used in cooking, and added at the table.
Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Add a serving of vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
  • Add a serving of fruit to you meals or as a snack. Canned and dried fruits are easy to use.
  • Use only half the butter, margarine, or salad dressing, and use low-fat or fat-free condiments.
  • Drink low-fat or skim dairy products three times a day.
  • Limit meat to six ounces a day. Try eating some vegetarian meals.
  • Add more vegetables, rice, pasta, and dry beans to your diet.
  • Instead of typical snacks (chips, etc.), eat unsalted pretzels or nuts, raisins, graham crackers, low-fat and fat-free yogurt and frozen yogurt; unsalted plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables.
  • Read food labels carefully to choose products that are lower in sodium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staying on the DASH Diet


http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/images/ency/fullsize/19226.jpgThe following is a list of food groups and suggested serving amounts for the DASH diet:

  • Grains: 7-8 daily servings
  • Vegetables: 4-5 daily servings
  • Fruits: 4-5 daily servings
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings
  • Meat, poultry and fish: less than 2 daily servings
  • Nuts, seeds, and dry beans: 4-5 servings per week
  • Fats and oils: 2-3 daily servings
  • Sweets: try to limit to less than 5 servings per week
  • Salt: 1,500 mg per day (about 2/3 teaspoon)

 

 

 

SERVING SIZES
Food/amount The size of

1 cup cooked rice or pasta

tennis ball

1 slice bread

compact disk case

1 cup raw vegetables or fruit

baseball

1/2 cup cooked vegetables or fruit

fist

1 ounce cheese

pair of dice

1 teaspoon olive oil

half dollar

3 ounces cooked meat

deck of cards or cassette tape

3 ounces tofu

deck of cards or cassette tapes

How Much Is a Serving?


When you’re trying to follow a healthy eating plan, it may help to know how much of a certain kind of food is considered a “serving.” The following table offers some examples.

 

 

 

 

High Blood Pressure


There are many factors that can lead to high blood pressure. Although it still isn’t fully understood why high blood pressure occurs, we do know several factors that can contribute to this condition.

  • Obesity—People who have excess body fat may be more likely to develop high blood pressure
  • Eating too much salt—Too much salt in your diet may raise your blood pressure
  • Drinking too much alcohol—Excessive intake of alcohol may also increase your blood pressure
  • Lack of physical activity—Being inactive may cause weight gain, which may make you more likely to develop high blood pressure
  • Stress—Although each person’s response to stress is different, this also may affect high blood pressure
  • Race—Blacks often develop high blood pressure more than whites
  • Family—If high blood pressure runs in your family, you are more likely to have it
  • Age—As you grow older, your chances of developing high blood pressure increase

 



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