High Blood Pressure – 2 of 2

How do I avoid or lower high blood pressure?

In the vast majority of cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown, but there are ways to reduce your risk of developing the condition – or, if you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, to help lower it.

Cut down on salt: This means less processed food and more natural food. Check the information on packets before buying them. According to safefood, an adult should consume no more than 6g salt (or 2.4g sodium) a day.

Reduce your alcohol intake: National guidelines recommend women shouldn’t drink more than 11 standard drinks in a week, while men shouldn’t drink more than 17 standard drinks in a week. Both men and women should have at least two alcohol-free days.

It’s important to remember that these guidelines relate to the maximum number of units a person can consume on a weekly basis; drinking less than this, or even not at all, will improve your chances of avoiding high blood pressure. One unit = ½ pint of beer, 125 ml glass of wine, or 1 standard measurement of spirits.

Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables: Try to eat seven or even nine portions every day. Fruit and veg contain potassium which can counter the effects of salt in the diet and help lower blood pressure.

Get physical: Staying active is one of the most important factors in reducing your risk of developing high blood pressure or helping to lower your blood pressure. A good guideline for exercise is 30 minutes everyday.

Lose weight: Being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to high blood pressure. Adopting a healthy diet and taking moderate exercise five times a week will help shed those extra pounds.

To read the first blog in this series on high blood pressure, click here.

If you are concerned about your high blood pressure or have any other health concerns, speak with an Irish-registered GP by booking a video consultation or asking a health question today.

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