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St. Maarten Medical Center
This brochure provides you with general information about Hypertension and what foods are best to eat or to reduce the risks and foods for if you have been diagnosed with hypertension.
If you have any questions after reading this brochure, you can contact your medical caregiver.
Your blood pressure is the force that is the result of your blood pushing against your arteries as your blood is circulated throughout your body.
There are two numbers given when you get your blood pressure is checked.
The first (or top) number is your systolic blood pressure. This is the pressure that occurs when your heart pumps blood to your body.
The second (or bottom) number is your diastolic blood pressure. This is the pressure that occurs when your heart fills back up with blood.
The table below shows what a normal blood pressure should be, and what is high blood pressure or hypertension.
High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer.” You can have high blood pressure and still feel fine, but it is important to get your numbers under control. If uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart disease, heart attack, vision loss, and kidney problems.
Certain factors can cause someone to have high blood pressure. These include genetics, gender, age, and race.
There are many lifestyle changes you can make to improve your high blood pressure or reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3-4 days each week. Eat a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Watch your sodium (salt) intake. Foods high in sodium include canned goods such as soups and tomato sauces, deli meats, cheese, and condiments.
Get at least eight hours of sleep each night. If you smoke, cut back or quit altogether. Limit alcoholic drinks to two per day for men and one per day for women.
Sodium free is considered 5 mg or less
Low sodium is considered 35 mg or less
Moderately low sodium is considered 140 mg or less
Reduced sodium Much less than the regular item but more than 140 mg per serving