High blood pressure has rarely any noticeable symptoms. If it remains unnoticed then it can lead to more serious conditions like heart attack and stroke. Some people with high blood pressure, not previously diagnosed, can have symptoms like severe headache , dizziness, nose bleeds etc.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is measured as systolic pressure (higher number) and diastolic pressure (lower number). Systolic pressure is the force at which the heart pumps blood around the body. Diastolic pressure is the resistance to the blood flow in the vessel. The unit for measuring them is millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
Ideal blood pressure is between 90/60 mm/Hg – 120/80 mm/Hg
High blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher
Other Problems Resulting From High BP
Persistent high blood pressure can result in other serious problems like heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney diseases, vascular dementia etc.
A person is at increased risk of blood pressure if
- It is a familial problem
- You consume too much salty food and do not eat much fruits and vegetables
- When you do not do enough exercise
- You do not get enough sleep
- Stress and anxiety
- Smoking, alcohol consumption
High blood pressure patients have to take a diet low in sodium and fat.
Food Tips On What To Avoid If You Have High BP
Pickles are high in salt, some times oil based can be high caloric.
Sausages and salami
These are high in their sodium content.
These yummy morning starters like corn flakes can yield 200 mg of sodium. Other processed breakfast cereals can be worse with their sodium content.
Canned Soups And Vegetables
Try to avoid canned seafood, soups and vegetables. These—- can serve as sodium bomb. Instead try freshly cut or cooked vegetables and soups.
Ketchup, soy sauce, dressings, BBQ sauce and other sauces etc can significantly increase the sodium content if the meal.
Products like bakes items, bread, tortillas etc can contain whopping amount of sodium. Read labels before buying these bakery items blindly.
Beware of salted butter, buttermilk, cottage cheese and other cheeses which are notorious for their salty flavour.
Coffee, hot chocolate, crackers, biscuits, snickers chocolate etc may taste sweet but they can be very high in their sodium level.
Alternative Food Tips
- Go for low sodium versions of your favorites.
- Use reduced or half amount of your favorite condiments.
- Use fresh foods instead of canned foods.
- Go for skim or semi skimmed version of milk and milk products.
- Eat foods rich in potassium to reduce the effects of excess sodium in the body. Potassium rich foods are bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, raisins, dates, apricots, prunes, peas, tomato, mushrooms and orange etc
- Avoid red meat . Get meat with visibly less fat, lean cuts of meat and trim visible fat and peel off skin before cooking.
- Compare nutrition labels while shopping, so that you can choose foods lower in sodium and fat content.
- Steam, grill, poach and bake instead of frying.
- Pour calculated oil with a tablespoon or use oil spray instead of pouring oil straight away from the container.
- Take a diet rich in whole grains, low fat dairy products, lean meat cuts, vegetables with low sodium content and fruits etc.
Reading Labels For Saturated Fats And Sodium
Look for saturates or sat fat on the nutrition label.
Low: 1.5g saturates or less/100g
High: 5g saturates or more/100g
Read the labels for sodium content as well.
5% DV or less is low in sodium.
20% DV or more is high in sodium.
For details and food tips for low blood pressure patients