Middletown Senior Center

21256 Washington Street
Post Office Box 1037

Middletown, California 95461

Phone: (707) 987-3113

Fax: (707) 987-3114

msrc01@att.net


Nutrition Snippet


HYPERTENSION:  UNDERSTANDING 

A SILENT KILLER


     Chronically high blood pressure—hypertension—can cause damage to your blood vessels and internal organs including your heart.  Currently affecting 1 in 3 adults in the United States, hypertension has been called a silent threat because the condition itself has no symptoms.  However, the effect on your body can be life-threatening over time.  Engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors at all stages of life, regardless of race or ethnicity, can help keep your risk for hypertension in check.

 

What You Can Do about High Blood Pressure:

     The first thing you can do is visit your doctor for routine checkups.  Even though high blood pressure rarely shows symptoms, the abnormal force of blood through the arteries, over time, can cause damage to your internal organs, including your heart, blood vessels and kidneys.  Thus, chronic hypertension increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues.

 

Know your blood pressure and have it monitored:

     Regular physicals will determine if your blood pressure is within the healthy limits.  A blood pressure of less than 120 over 80 is considered healthy.  While it is important to keep both numbers from escalating, the top number, known as systolic pressure, indicates the severity of your high blood pressure.  If necessary, your doctor will discuss treatment options and supportive health care. Meanwhile, a registered dietitian nutritionist can provide you with dietary strategies to help lower your blood pressure.  

 

     Individuals at risk of high blood pressure may be advised to follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet to lower their blood pressure.  The DASH diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat and sodium.  Studies show that the DASH diet can lower your blood pressure.  

 

     Since most Americans are getting too much sodium from the foods they eat, it’s important to learn ways to reduce it.  Remember, it’s important to keep up with regular physicals, especially if you are overweight or have diabetes, because these factors can increase your risk for high blood pressure.  Consider a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat and sodium.