High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, can lead to cardiovascular conditions and diseases, stroke, and heart failure.1 Currently, 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure—that’s about 75 million Americans.2
Factors that increase your risk for developing hypertension include
- Unhealthy dietary habits
- Frequently consuming saturated fats and sodium-rich foods
- Physical inactivity
- Heavy alcohol use
According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, even slight chronicly elevated blood pressure during early adulthood can lead to heart health consequences later in life.4 Hypertension typically doesn’t have any occurring symptoms, which is why it’s known as the “silent killer.”2 But
there are ways to stop this condition in its tracks—hypertension is both treatable and preventable.5 Ways to lower/maintain a low blood pressure include improving eating habits, increasing physical activity, limiting alcohol (≤1–2 drinks daily),6 and not smoking.2,5 Avoid foods that contain saturated fat and/or are high in sodium.5 Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and fiber into your diet. Adapting a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle is the easiest and best way achieve the above.5 Be sure to also incorporate physical activity into your routine, even if it’s just a brisk daily walk, to avoid sedentary behavior.7
- 01Kishi S, Teixido-Tura G, Ning H, et al.Cumulative blood pressure in early adulthood and cardiac dysfunction in middle age: the CARDIA study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(25):2679–2687.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site. High blood pressure. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/ index.htm. Accessed 18 Dec 2019.
- Bolívar JJ. Essential hypertension: an approach to its etiology and neurogenic pathophysiology. Int J Hypertens. 2013; 547809.
- American College of Cardiology site. High blood pressure, cholesterol in young adults associated with later heart disease. July 15, 2019. https://www.acc.org/about-acc/pressreleases/2019/07/15/13/19/high-blood- pressure-cholesterol-in-young-adults-associated-with-later-heart-disease. Accessed 18 Dec 2019.
- Ozemek C, Laddu DR, Arena R, Lavie CJ. The role of diet for prevention and management of hypertension. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2018;33(4):388–393.
- Roerecke M, Kaczorowski J, Tobe SW, et al. The effect of a reduction in alcohol consumption on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Public Health. 2017;2(2):e108–e120.
- Diaz Keith M, Shimbo D. Physical activity and the prevention of hypertension. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2013;15(6): 659–668. NHR