Hypertension is sometimes referred to as the silent killer. This is because the condition rarely presents any obvious symptoms. If high blood pressure is left untreated, it increases your risk of a getting stroke or heart attack. In order to avoid any complications, here are five things you should know if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

1. How to Interpret Your Blood Pressure Readings

If you have hypertension, it is important to understand and interpret the readings. Blood pressure is recorded as two figures; namely, systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure is at the top, while the diastolic number is at the bottom. Systolic pressure is the highest level that the pressure rises to when your heart beats, while the diastolic pressure is the lowest level your pressure falls to when your heart relaxes in between beats. A reading of 120 over 80 (120/80) is considered normal). Any reading higher than that increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

2. How to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Once you've been diagnosed with hypertension, you need to take steps to reduce it. Some of the ways you can reduce hypertension are:
  • Reducing your salt intake
  •  Reducing your sugar and fat intake
  • Taking your blood hypertension medication consistently
  •  Losing some weight if you are overweight
  •  Reduce alcohol consumption
  •  Exercising
3. Types of Foods You Should Avoid

When you have hypertension, it is highly recommended that you avoid foods that are high in sodium. You should also avoid foods that have a high sugar and fat content in order to maintain an ideal weight. Some of the foods that you should avoid include table salt, sugar, margarine, pickles, canned chicken noodle soup, ramen noodles, French fries, donuts, red meat and whole milk.

4. The Types of Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

As you eliminate some of the unhealthy foods from your diet, you should seek to replace them with foods that will impact your blood pressure hypertension. Including plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet can help to lower your blood pressure. It is generally recommended that you consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. With that said, try to avoid fruits with high sugar content such as bananas, mangoes and grapes. Cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and Rhubarb have the lowest sugar content.

5. Smoking

Studies have shown that the heart rate increases when an individual is smoking. This effect is attributed to the nicotine which is a major ingredient in cigarettes. Hypertension and smoking do not do well together. This is because the activity causes the arteries to narrow more quickly.


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