On November 13, 2017 new guidelines were released by the American Heart Association regarding blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, those with a blood pressure reading over 120/80 (120-129) are now considered to have elevated blood pressure. Those with a reading of 130/80 (130-139) are now considered to be in high blood pressure (hypertension) stage 1. The systolic, or top number of the reading, describes the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts. The lower number is referred to as diastolic pressure and describes the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed.
What should you know about the new guidelines?
The new guidelines reduce what is categorized as high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80. To be considered normal, your systolic reading must be less than 120 and diastolic reading less than 80. Therefore, the number of adults who fall into this category of “high blood pressure” has skyrocketed, with nearly half the population in this category. Many of those who previously fell into the normal category, now are considered at risk. Similarly, those who previously were categorized as “at risk”, are now in the red, having high blood pressure. The lower definition encourages those at risk to begin prevention before complications arise.
Who should be concerned?
If you are at risk for heart attack or stroke, these guidelines are important to note. This includes people over the age of 65, smokers and those with a family history of heart disease. Make sure to speak with your physician to see how these new guidelines affect you. These guidelines are created to increase awareness and encourage lifestyle changes.
Here at Savorfull, we know that a healthy diet is an important tool in fighting cardiovascular disease. Keeping cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat under control are all major players in overall health and more specifically in heart health. If you are looking to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and hypertension, the DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, emphasizes foods to eat to lower blood pressure. The diet emphasizes limiting sodium, saturated fats, and total fat and encourages choosing whole foods and nutrient dense foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The standard DASH diet recommends 2,300 mg of sodium a day. The lower sodium DASH diet limits sodium to 1,500 mg per day, which coincides with the American Heart Association recommendations. Limiting sodium is one of the extremely important factor in reducing high blood pressure.
When you are on the go, it is often difficult to find snacks that are not loaded with salt, sugar and fat. Luckily, Savorfull has done the job for you in locating delicious, healthy snacks that will keep you on track to maintain a healthy diet. Check out our savorfull approved swaps!
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About Melissa Weiss, Savorfull Intern
Melissa Weiss is a Savorfull intern born and raised in greater Detroit. Her passions include increasing awareness and accessibility of nutritious and sustainable foods. Melissa attended the University of Vermont where she studied Nutrition and Food Sciences with a focus on Food Systems. She plans to continue her education and hopes to get more involved in the Detroit food scene. Melissa enjoys running, hiking, cooking and doing yoga in her free time.