High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, so the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have yours measured. However, a single high reading does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure.
Many things can affect your blood pressure through the day, so your doctor will take a number of blood pressure readings to see that it stays high over time.
Occasionally people with very high blood pressure say they experience headaches, but it is best to visit your GP if you are concerned about symptoms.
- Avoid sugar and salt
You will need to limit your intake of sugar and salt, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat only bland food for the rest of your life.
In general, a healthy person should not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. When it comes to sugar, the main concern is avoiding “added” sugar. Our bodies need sugar to function properly, but most of it should come from sources like whole fruit rather than candy or even juice.
- Packaged or processed meats
Packaged meats including hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and lunch meat also rely on sodium to preserve the product for a long time. Instead, buy your meat straight from a butcher to get a fresh product that hasn’t been soaked in a giant vat of saltwater.
- Frozen meats
Did you know that the food in frozen meals may have been cooked up to a year before you actually eat it? A massive amount of salt is used to make sure the meal still tastes mostly like food by the time you eat it.
Some brands do use high quality, low sodium recipes, but you will have to pay more. Another option is to prepare several servings of your favorite meals and freeze them yourself in single-serving containers.
- Softs drinks
Just one soda per day can push you over your daily recommended limit of added sugars, yet because you drink rather than eating them, they don’t make you feel full or satisfied.
And while caffeinated soda boosts your energy and vitality upon consumption, that feeling is very short lived and leaves you even worse off after the inevitable sugar crash.
Cookies, cakes, donuts, and other baked goodies can certainly be a hard habit to break, but they are simply loaded with sugar and fat. However, you may still be able to enjoy pastries in moderation.
When eating out, share one dessert with the whole table. When you cook at home, you can make use of a sugar substitute such as applesauce, dates, or Stevia.