High blood pressure warning – four easy ways to avoid deadly hypertension at home
High blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than a quarter of all adults in the UK. But, you could lower your risk of developing hypertension by cutting back on the amount of salt in your diet, making sure you read food labels, drinking less alcohol, and doing regular exercise.
High blood pressure – which is also known as hypertension – puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs.
The condition could lead to some deadly complications, including strokes and heart attacks.
It could be caused by eating an unhealthy diet, or by not doing enough exercise.
One of the easiest ways to lower your risk of hypertension is to eat less salt.
Salt raises blood pressure due to its sodium content, according to the British Heart Foundation’s senior dietitian Tracy Parker.
Certain foods contain large amounts of salt, including processed foods.
“Eating too much salt is linked to high blood pressure, because of its sodium content,” she told Express Health.
“Limiting the amount you sprinkle in your food can help, but the majority of the salt we eat is already in food products when we buy them.
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“You may already know that bacon, sausages, cheese and ready-made soups can be high in salt, but you may be surprised that other foods, such as bread and breakfast cereals, can also have a high salt content.”
It’s crucial that you read food labels to keep an eye on hidden salt, she added.
Meanwhile, drinking too much alcohol could also raise your blood pressure.
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Alcohol is high in calories, which may contribute to weight gain, and subsequently hypertension.
“If you do drink, stick within the recommended limits – men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week,” added Parker.
Doing regular exercise is key to avoiding high blood pressure, she said.
Everyone should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
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Parker said: “You can spread this out over the week and even do short bursts of activity – every minute counts.
“For some people, losing weight is all they need to get their blood pressure down to a normal level, so eating well and exercising can go a long way.”
It’s crucial that all adults over 40 years old check their blood pressure at least once every five years.
You can check your blood pressure by visiting your local doctors’ surgery or pharmacy.
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