What can I do to prevent or control high blood pressure?

Aug 27, 2023

Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure to a healthy range or keep their numbers within a healthy range by making lifestyle changes.

Performing at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week (about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week).

  • Quit smoking.
  • Healthy eating, including limiting sodium (salt) and alcohol intake.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Managing stress.

Preventing high blood pressure.

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits like physical activity can help prevent high blood pressure. By leading a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. Preventing high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Practice the following healthy habits:

Consume a healthy diet.

Choose healthy meal and snack options that help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Multiple studies have shown that a dietary plan can help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, two risk factors for heart disease. The Majamayo Dietary Plan for people with hypertension is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps establish a heart-healthy eating lifestyle, proven to help people lower blood pressure.

Individuals with high blood pressure who have adopted a low-sodium diet, equivalent to cutting sodium intake in half, have noticed the greatest improvements.
The body needs a small amount of sodium to function, but most people consume too much sodium. High sodium consumption can raise blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. While sodium comes in many forms, most of the sodium we consume is from salt.
Discuss with your healthcare team the use of a diverse diet rich in potassium, fiber, protein, and low in sodium and saturated fats. For many people, these healthy changes can help maintain low blood pressure and protect against heart disease and stroke.

Description of the Dietary Plan

The dietary plan does not require special foods and instead provides daily and weekly dietary goals. It’s important to have nutrient-rich meals from whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, and fruits, and includes fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and healthy oils.
In addition to the low-sodium dietary plan, another modification involves substituting 10% of daily carbohydrates for proteins or unsaturated fats. No foods are off-limits. Meals are prepared from foods that are naturally rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein, and have little sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats.

Additional resources integrate heart health tips for fitting in exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting or avoiding alcohol.

Taking steps to lower blood pressure can help protect against cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke).

If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to choose foods that are:

  • Low in saturated and trans fats.
  • Rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein.
  • Low in sodium.

This plan recommends:

Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds, and plant-based oils.

Limit: fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, sodium intake.

*DASH Diet for “Healthy Eating” and “Heart-Healthy Diet”

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets were tied for first place out of 39 diets for “Best Diets for Healthy Eating” and “Best Diets for Heart Health” News & World Report’s external link report for best diets in 2021. The DASH diet makes nutrient-rich meals from whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, and fruits, and includes fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and healthy oils. It also ranks second for “Best Overall Diet”.

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