College of DuPage Nursing Student Michael Zaremba shared that high blood pressure (hypertension) is a common medical problem in America. Just how common you might be asking? Hypertension affects 1 out of every 3 American adults. In fact, 1 out of every 6 adults with hypertension do not even know that they have the disease. High blood pressure can lead to numerous health problems including heart attack, stroke and kidney issues.
Many individuals with hypertension have no symptoms initially. Diagnosis of hypertension can be made by under the guidance of your General Practitioner or Primary Care Provider. He or she will have you come to their office for blood pressure screenings regularly and monitor your blood pressure numbers. If a diagnosis of hypertension is confirmed, you can take several steps to improve your cardiovascular health. Some interventions include exercise, medicine and changing your lifestyle factors.
One of the most important steps to improving your cardiovascular health and blood pressure numbers is making slight modifications to your diet. By using a specially designed D-A-S-H diet you can treat your blood pressure with or without the aid of medication. The D-A-S-H diet stands for “Dietary Approaches to Slowing Hypertension” and is recommended by the American Heart Association.
To follow D-A-S-H guidelines you can eat:
Low-fat dairy products
Skinless poultry and fish
Nuts and legumes
Non-tropical vegetable oils
Limit the following foods:
Saturated and trans fats
Red meat (select the leanest cuts available)
Sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages
For more information on the D-A-S-H diet and other steps to improving your blood pressure and cardiovascular health visit the American Heart Association’s website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/
Before making any changes in your diet, exercise or medications please contact your physician or primary health care provider.