Based on the amount of sodium in most Americans’ diets, nearly all of us have to watch out for high blood pressure.
About 90% of Americans consume more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet, according to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This increases the risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or stroke.
Sodium – a main component in salt – is prevalent in processed foods and many dishes prepared in restaurants. To help lower your risk, try these small dietary changes recommended by Dr. German, a physician and expert on JustAnswer.
1. Walk at least 3 times a week. You could get yourself a watch that allows you to see how many miles you are walking until you can walk 2-3 miles a day.
2. Avoid alcohol. If there is a party or an event where there is alcohol, drink in moderation.
3. Stop smoking. Smoking damages your blood vessels’ internal lining tissue, hardening them.
4. Read the labels. When you eat something read the food label, so you can know how much sodium that product has. Your sodium ingestion should be less that 1,500 mg a day.
5. Try dietary supplements. You can get natural supplements that will help to lower your blood pressure levels, like garlic tablets. You can get them in your local pharmacy, like Walgreens. Other supplements that also help are Coenzyme Q 10 and Omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Eat more salad. Prepare yourself a really good salad with lettuce and tomatoes; do not use Caesar dressing. Season it with lemon juice, a small quantity of salt and olive oil. Eat the salad before you eat your main dish; you will feel more full and hopefully eat less.
7. Don’t eat late. Try not eating after 6 pm or at nighttime, as your metabolism is slower and can make you gain extra pounds.
8. Incorporate whole grains to your diet. For example , use whole-grain bread for a sandwich. For pasta dish, use whole-grain pasta.
9. Watch your calorie intake. You could do a list of everything you eat in one day. Perhaps try to cut calories by at least 500 calories. With this you will begin to lose weight. Use this tool to count your calories.
10. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Avoid fatty, processed foods or high-carbohydrate foods.
11. Drink water. At least 8 glasses per day. Avoid drinking juices or sodas, as they have a lot of sugar.
“Soon you will see how these few steps can help you to lose weight, feel better about yourself, improve your health, and regulate your blood pressure levels,” said Dr. German.
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