According to WHO, blood pressure is the force exerted by the circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body. When this blood pressure goes too high, it is Hypertension. If not monitored and treated on time, can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases.
Blood pressure is measured and written as two numbers:
- Systolic: The pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats.
- Diastolic: The pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between the beats.
- Early Morning headaches
- Nose bleeds
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Vision changes
- Buzzing in the ears
- Chest Pain
- Muscle tremors
Classification of Blood pressure by WHO
|Category||Systolic blood pressure(SBP)||Diastolic Blood Pressure(DBP)|
|Isolated Systolic Hypertension||≥140||<90|
- High blood pressure can harden arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart – LVH, CHD,HF
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Renal Failure
WHO guidelines say High Blood pressure can be prevented by:
- Avoid saturated fats and trans fat
- Reduce salt to less than 5g/day.
- Avoid Tobacco
- Reduce Alcohol.
- Be physically active every day.
Follow DASH diet: “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension” to prevent and control Blood pressure.
Tips to follow in the diet
- Have whole grains instead of refined.
- Add at least 1-2 servings of whole grams /dals etc.
- Add one serving of healthy proteins , eggs/ fish/lean meat
- Add 4-5 servings of vegetables
- Add 2-3 servings of Fruits (If no other complications).
- Add 2-3 servings of dairy products. Use skimmed milk and milk products.
- Avoid munching on fried salty snacks /packaged foods etc. Have unsalted nuts / vegetable salads /fruits as snacks in between meals.
- Read food label to choose foods with less salt /les preservatives
- Avoid pickle /papad.
- Avoid foods that contain excess of saturated fat /Trans fat etc.
- Salt to be restricted to 5gm/day. A total of 1500mg of sodium per day is allowed. This has to be including sodium in food products as well as that added while cooking and at the table.
- No Alcohol.
- Have plenty of fluids throughout the day.
The DASH eating plan helps to limit saturated fat and cholesterol. It mainly includes foods rich in nutrients mainly minerals such as Potassium/Calcium/
Magnesium and other nutrients like Protein and Fibre. This diet plan can control blood pressure and reduce the risk of getting heart disease and other health issues if you make life style changes along with regular physical activity and maintains a healthy weight.
World Hypertension day is on May 17th 2022 .This year the theme for the day:
“Measure your blood pressure Accurately ,Control it ,Live Longer” .So follow the life style modifications mentioned above and follow the WHO theme and maintain Blood Pressure under normal levels to stay healthy.