You could be outwardly lean and fit but there could still be a threat of being hypertensive. According to the WHO, hypertension is a major cause of premature death worldwide. Moreover, it is a silent killer as more often than not it gets detected very late. The symptoms too are usually vague and remain unattended. To be on your guard, we got in touch with Kavita Devgan, a nutritionist at Tata Salt Superlite to know about the five ways you could lower your risk of hypertension, and here’s what she suggested:

1. Check The Sodium Intake

Why is this important? Well, the mechanism is quite clear: sodium retains water, and an increase in sodium intake increases water retention which ultimately increases the volume of blood and blood vessels stressing the heart and resulting in high BP. Increased sodium content in blood also muddles the kidney’s ability to remove extra water from the blood, and that again contributes to hypertension. People who are advised to control their sodium in order to reduce hypertension can do so without reducing salt intake by simply switching to a low sodium salt and taking it lite! Choose a low sodium salt from a trusted brand that has been specifically formulated to provide 15% – 30% less sodium than regular iodized salt.

2. Eat More Fruits

Fruits intake can help cut high blood pressure to an extent as they are loaded with potassium which helps neutralise the effect of sodium and thus helps in the prevention of high BP.

3. Cut Trans Fats

Consumption of trans fats leads to increased bad cholesterol and decreased good cholesterol. Try to reduce your intake of fried foods (made in repeated use oils) margarine, vegetable oils, and various butter-like spreads. 

4. Keep A Check On Your BP

While some symptoms may go unnoticed, do ensure you regularly get your blood pressure checked. This may help in early detection and change in food consumption like the addition of low sodium salts.

5. Keep Stress In Check

Stress has a direct relation to high BP. Our body produces a surge of hormones when we are in a stressful situation. These hormones temporarily increase our blood pressure by causing the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to narrow. So find ways (reading, exercise, listening to music, talking to friends, therapy) to mitigate stress on a regular basis.

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