Prevention

Even if high blood pressure runs in your family, diet and exercise can play a big role in preventing or improving it. Eat healthy, keep your salt intake down, and exercise regularly to help avoid high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco, and moderate alcohol intake are also important.

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How can you prevent high blood pressure?

  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Try to limit how much sodium you eat to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day. If you limit your sodium to 1,500 mg a day, you can lower your blood pressure even more.
    • Buy foods that are labeled “unsalted,” “sodium free,” or “low sodium.” Foods labeled “reduced sodium” and “light sodium” may still have too much sodium.
    • Flavor your food with garlic, lemon juice, onion, vinegar, herbs, and spices instead of salt. Do not use soy sauce, steak sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, mustard, or ketchup on your food.
    • Use less salt (or none) when recipes call for it. You can often use half the salt a recipe calls for without losing flavor.
  • Be physically active. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to do other activities, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing tennis or team sports.
  • Limit alcohol to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Eat less saturated and total fats.

©2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.

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Causes & Risk Factors

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Prevention

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Self-Care & Management

Learn More