By treating high blood pressure, also called hypertension, you can help reduce your risk for a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or kidney failure. Here are steps you can take now:
- Lose weight if you're overweight.
- Eat a heart healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Emphasize a variety of deeply colored fruits and vegetables; fiber-rich whole grains; fat-free, 1 percent fat and low-fat dairy products; lean meats and skinless poultry; fish with healthy omega-3 fatty acids; and nuts, seeds, and legumes.
- Be more physically active.
- Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks a day for men.
- Take medicine the way your doctor tells you.
- Know what your blood pressure should be and work to keep it at that level.
Many people have high blood pressure without knowing it. Once you know about your condition, though, you can reduce your risk and live a healthier life. It takes proper treatment and some changes in your lifestyle. But it’s worth it!