Feb 18, 2016

Posted by in Cardiac, Nutrition | 0 Comments

Heart Month Goal: Blood Pressure Control

Heart Month Goal-04February is American Heart Month. With that, blood pressure is an important factor to watch. Normal blood pressure should be less than 120/80 according to the American Heart Association. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is more than 140/90. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure.

High blood pressure often shows no signs or symptoms, which is why having your blood pressure checked regularly is important. If you know you have high blood pressure, take these steps to help get it under control:

  • Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be.
  • Set a goal to lower your pressure with your doctor and talk about how you can reach your goal.
  • Work with your health care team to make sure you meet that goal.
  • Track your blood pressure over time.

It’s also very important to take your blood pressure medicine as directed. You can even set a notification on your phone to remember to take your medicine at the same time each day.

Another important tip is to reduce sodium intake. Most Americans consume too much sodium, which can raise blood pressure. Pella Regional’s web site has low sodium recipes that you could try.

Getting more potassium is also a good way to lower blood pressure. Adults in the U.S. don’t eat enough potassium – usually about 2,000 mg less than is needed. To raise your intake of potassium and cut your risk for high blood pressure, try to eat at least 2 servings daily of any of the following foods:

  • One cup of cantaloupe
  • One medium banana
  • Eight ounces (1 cup) of orange juice
  • About 15 raw baby carrots
  • Eight ounces (1 cup) of skim milk
  • Six ounces of nonfat yogurt

Again, play it safe and set up an appointment with your physician to get your blood pressure checked and then continue to check it at home on a regular basis. Keep a log of the readings to share with your health care provider.

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