In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a comprehensive report sheet about hypertension. According to the report, over 360,000 deaths in 2013 attributed hypertension as a primary contributor. That’s over 1,000 deaths a day for hypertension alone.
Hypertension can lead to serious cardiovascular illnesses like heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, and chronic heart failure. Without a conscious effort in controlling your blood pressure, you are at a higher risk of developing a more serious condition than just hypertension.
Controlling your blood pressure at safe levels
Hypertension is primarily a cause of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Diet and stress are primary contributors to hypertension. For patients who have been diagnosed with hypertension, doctors typically recommend watching what they eat and what causes them stress to lower blood pressure. Maintaining your blood pressure on safe levels requires a stern commitment to health.
Since diet is well within our control, consistently watching what we eat can give us control over our blood pressure. Conventional knowledge suggests that you should avoid anything with fat to lower your blood cholesterol. While that is essentially correct, there are certain fats that would actually be healthy for your body. Healthy fats like polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) are found in food like olive oil, safflower oil, and corn oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in many kinds of seafood. Examples of fish rich in Omega 3 are: salmon, tuna, herring, trout, sardines, and mackerel. Omega 3 can also be found in processed oils like canola, soybean, and sunflower oil. These fatty acids decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood which improves your cardiovascular health and controls your blood pressure.
Harmful fat are those found in fatty meat, poultry, and in high-cholesterol snacks and processed food. You should check the nutrition facts in the back of the food label so you can check if it has good or bad cholesterol. High levels of Saturated Fat and Trans Fat contribute to the production of LDLs in our blood, which increases the risk of having a cardiovascular disease like hypertension.
Aside from watching what you eat, choosing a healthy lifestyle can greatly affect your cardiovascular health. Smoking is a major contributor to hypertension. The nicotine found in cigarettes can adversely affect your circulation, leading your heart and cardiovascular system to work harder and cause hypertension.
According to studies, alcohol also contributes to hypertension. While alcoholic drinks like red wine are rich in antioxidants, research shows that consuming alcohol regularly would also contribute to hypertension in the long run.
Hypertension is common and as you probably already know – it is manageable. Most commonly, hypertension is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. While it’s great that modern medicine has given us with a way to control hypertension with medicine, you would need to consider hypertension’s long term effects and how it makes you prone to life-threatening diseases. Just because it’s easy to manage, doesn’t mean that it’s not dangerous. Make the healthy life choice today.