Blood pressure is a concern among many, and the surest way to address high levels is to monitor and alter our dietary habits. Increased activity and a lower weight are advantageous, too, and the upcoming months of warm weather will make it easier to get outside and remain active. Yet as we do increase our activity levels, we also increase how frequently we reach for drinks and snacks to refuel our bodies. Gatherings with friends and families are sure to entail delectable, celebratory foods, so keeping our diets in check will prove harder during these occasions A few guidelines, however, should be kept in mind.
Less fat, fewer calories. Weight is often a factor with high blood pressure. Look for foods that contain lower amounts of fat and fewer empty calories. Warmer months tend to bring on sodas and snack foods like chips, but these foods offer little nutrition despite the great taste. Don’t deprive yourself, but don’t binge on these foods, either. When packing a cooler, opt for one soda to two bottles of water. Fill your lunch bag with a small bag of baked chips and loads of fresh fruit.
Really enjoy the outdoors. Basking in the warm weather is a spring pastime, but try to engage in physical activity more frequently. Take brisk walks if you plan to head out to enjoy the scenery, or hop on a bike to run local errands.
Cut your sodium intake. Opting for fruit instead of chips is a start, but high levels of sodium make their way into some foods you might not logically expect. Be extra conscious of nutritional labels when choosing snacks. Scan packages for labels that read “no salt added” or “low sodium.” Along the same lines, try experimenting with different herbs and spices to infuse flavors into your home-cooked meals. Salt is in every kitchen, but it need not be in every meal.
Most of these tips are widely known, but that does not mean they are widely followed. Incorporating these guidelines into your daily routine can help lower and maintain your blood pressure levels, as can other guidelines offered by your physician.