Controlling High Blood Pressure

Weight Loss
If you are overweight, losing weight can help you in controlling high blood pressure. Extra weight places more strain on your heart. Also, as people gain weight, their blood pressure tends to rise. Losing weight can make high blood pressure drop back down. Your healthcare provider can help you create a diet and exercise program that's right for you and your weight loss goals. To lose weight and lower blood pressure, a low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-salt diet is usually recommended, along with an exercise program.
(Click Weight and High Blood Pressure to learn more about weight loss and its role in high blood pressure control.)
Reducing Your Salt Intake
Lowering blood pressure may require changing what you put into your body. One such ingredient is salt. Salt and high blood pressure go hand in hand, because salt can make your blood vessels and body tissues swell and fill with fluid. This puts an extra strain on your heart and can cause an increase in blood pressure.
Your doctor will let you know how much sodium is too much. Also, there are many different herbs and spices you can experiment with to flavor your meals, and many restaurants offer low-sodium selections. Pre-packaged foods (for example, TV dinners and many canned soups) are usually processed with high amounts of sodium. When you're trying to manage high blood pressure, it's generally better to eat fresh foods.
(Click Salt and High Blood Pressure for more information about lowering salt intake.)
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