Heart Healthy from WakeMed Heart Center

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure increases the heart’s workload. Untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. To help control high blood pressure, you should maintain a healthy weight, limit salt, use alcohol in moderation and limit caffeine.

The ideal blood pressure level should be at or less than 120/80.

Tips to control your blood pressure:

Change your diet.
Eating a lower fat diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods combined with reduced sodium intake (the DASH diet) may lower your systolic blood pressure by 8 to 14 points.

Limit sodium.
Read food labels and limit your sodium intake to less than 2,000 mg a day (ideally 1,500 mg) to lower your systolic blood pressure by 2 to 8 points.

Reduce stress.
Find ways to reduce your stress level (i.e. regular exercise, better time management, meditation, laughter).

Check your own.
If you have high blood pressure, invest in a blood pressure monitor and record your own blood pressure at home to share with your doctor.

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