11. Check your diet. Salt and sodium raise your blood pressure.
You are what you eat, especially in terms of blood pressure. Some foods, especially those that are highly processed, are known to raise blood pressure. Other foods – in their whole, natural form – can help get it down to a healthy level. Salt (which supplies sodium) is one of the enemies of healthy blood pressure. Many of the foods that we eat contain much more salt than we realize. In fact, it might be so much that many people routinely get more than twice as much sodium as their bodies need. As sodium levels go up, so does blood pressure.
Check the labels of the foods that you regularly eat to see how much sodium they contain. You may be surprised to find out how much sodium is in salad dressing, peanut butter, and cheese, not to mention frozen meals that are marketed as “healthy.” They may be low in calories, but you need to lower your sodium. Some frozen meals have more than 100% of your daily intake of sodium in only one serving. Possibly the worst offender with sodium is fast food. Check the websites for your favorite restaurants and see how much sodium is in their food. The amount of sodium alone may be enough to deter you from ordering any more fast food. Cut back on sugar too!