Drop These 5 High Blood Pressure Myths
If your blood pressure is 120/80 or above, you could have elevated or high blood pressure. Did you know half of all adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure? That’s 1 in 2. Think about it this way. You have high blood pressure or someone you know does. That’s how common it is.
But it’s largely preventable with smart food choices and healthy lifestyle habits.
How much do you know about high blood pressure? Ask Dr. Google, the know-it-all family member or friend or a random co-worker, and chances are pretty good they’ll serve up some misinformation.
Want to keep your heart healthy? Drop these 5 high blood pressure myths.
Myth #1: High blood pressure isn’t a big deal
You know…it seems like everybody has high blood pressure these days. So what’s the big deal? There’s a pill or something for it.
Truth: High blood pressure is a big deal. It’s one reason health professionals take your blood pressure at every medical appointment. Left unchecked, high blood pressure increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.
Myth #2: I have a family history of high blood pressure, so it’s just the way I am
So your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have high blood pressure. There’s certainly a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure. But you CAN do something about it.
Truth: In a study published in the journal Circulation, researchers found that healthy lifestyle habits can help lower blood pressure EVEN if you have a family history of hypertension.
What lifestyle habits help lower blood pressure?
- Eat healthy foods (check out these Low-Sodium meals)
- Avoid or limit alcohol
- Get regular exercise
- Don’t smoke, or quit if you do
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
Myth #3: All older people have high blood pressure
About 63 percent of adults in the U.S. age 60 and older have high blood pressure. And it’s true, it’s not as high among younger people.
Truth: But guess what? The data also shows that 37 percent of seniors don’t have high blood pressure. And it’s no secret. Healthy lifestyle habits make a difference.
Myth #4: I don’t have any symptoms so I’m fine.
You eat fast food and junk frequently. You’re overweight. You don’t exercise much. But you generally feel fine. You don’t have to worry about high blood pressure.
Truth: High blood pressure is also called the Silent Killer. Why? There are no symptoms. But the longer you go without treating it the more damage it does to your body. Plus, many of the 116 million adults in the U.S. with high blood pressure don’t even know it.
Myth 5: If you don’t use table salt, you don’t have to worry about high blood pressure
So you can eat whatever you want. And as long as you don’t use table salt, your blood pressure should be fine.
Truth: A single dash of salt contains about 150 mg of sodium. That’s not a lot. But that’s generally not where the problem lies. Processed foods, meats, and snacks can contain high amounts of sodium.
About 40 percent of sodium in the typical American diet comes from:
- Processed meats
- Canned soup
- Fast food
- Salty snacks like pretzels, potato chips, popcorn and crackers.
High blood pressure is a real problem. And too much sodium is frequently the major culprit. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Looking for an easy way to follow a low-sodium diet and still enjoy food that tastes great?
Check out the complete menu of Low-Sodium meals made with fresh