Blood Pressure 8-12

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Blood Pressure:

Blood Pressure Clarke and Company Benefits


Overview What is blood pressure? What is hypertension? How do I prevent and manage hypertension? Sodium and blood pressure DASH Diet Resources

Blood Pressure:

Blood Pressure Blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood throughout your body. Blood pressure is measure in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) Your blood pressure reading is taken in 2 numbers: systolic and diastolic .

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Systolic Diastolic Measure of pressure as the heart is beating Measure of pressure while the heart is at rest between beats

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Blood pressure changes all of the time: Blood pressure decreases when we sleep, or when we are at rest. Blood pressure increases when we are active, excited, nervous, and stressed. Changing blood pressure is a vital part of a healthy cardiovascular system. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, happens when your blood pressure stays too high over an extended period of time. This can cause your heart to have to work too hard and the force of the blood flow can damage your arteries, heart, kidneys, brain, and eyes.

Know Your Numbers:

Know Your Numbers Normal Blood Pressure 120/80 and lower Pre-Hypertension 120/80 – 140/90 Hypertension 140/90 and higher

Hypertension :

Hypertension 1 out of every 3 American adults has hypertension. Hypertension can put you at a higher risk for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, brain damage, kidney disease, and early death.

The Silent Killer:

The Silent Killer Hypertension typically has no signs or symptoms , so it is important to check yours regularly to make sure you have healthy blood pressure. Some symptoms that can occur are: Severe headache Fatigue Vision problems Chest pain Breathing problems, and Pounding in your neck, chest, or ears

Essential Hypertension:

Essential Hypertension Essential hypertension is diagnosed when there is no direct link to a definite cause for hypertension. Essential hypertension is typically the result of genetics and lifestyle choices. Hypertension Risk Factors: Age Gender Tobacco Use Stress Overweight and Obesity Race Family History Diabetes Excessive alcohol intake Physical Inactivity Diet high in sodium and fats

Secondary Hypertension:

Secondary Hypertension Secondary hypertension is diagnosed when you can identify a direct factor causing your hypertension. Secondary hypertension is typically co-morbid with different diseases and conditions. Secondary Hypertension Risk Factors: Chronic Kidney Disease Adrenal Disorders Arterial Malformity Certain medications Pregnancy gestational hypertension

Preventing Hypertension:

Preventing Hypertension Maintain a healthy weight Get regular exercise Reduce salt intake Eat a healthy diet Drink alcohol moderately, if at all Reduce Stress Increase: Potassium Calcium Magnesium Garlic

The Truth About Sodium:

The Truth About Sodium Our bodies NEED sodium. Sodium is key in: Fluid balance Muscle strength, and Nerve function BUT…most Americans get too much sodium in their daily diet

Sodium and Blood Pressure:

Sodium and Blood Pressure Sodium causes the body to retain water, causing a greater burden on the heart to pump blood throughout the body. This strain can cause an increase in blood pressure. Maximum amount of daily sodium 2,300mg per day Amount needed to lower or maintain a healthy blood pressure 1,500mg per day Average amount of sodium consumed by Americans 3,400mg per day

Where’s the Salt?:

Where’s the Salt? 70% of sodium in our diets doesn’t even come out of a salt shaker, it’s in many of the food choices we eat. (American Heart Association) Processed foods can count for up to 75% of our daily sodium intake (American Heart Association)

Foods to Avoid:

Foods to Avoid Frozen Dinners Ready-to-Eat Cereals Vegetable Juice Canned Vegetables Packaged Lunch Meats Canned Soup and Broth Marinades, Flavorings, and Condiments Salted Nuts, Chips, and Pretzels Pre-packaged Snacks and Entrees

Tips to Avoid Sodium:

Tips to Avoid Sodium Rinse canned vegetables, or find a “no-salt added” option. Frozen vegetables are often times a lower-sodium alternative to canned. Be careful when buying “healthier” options…lower fat can often mean higher sodium. Use juices, herbs, and spices in the kitchen and at the table to flavor food instead of salt and condiments like soy sauce. Eat unsalted nuts instead of the salted variety. When buying processed foods and condiments, try and find an option with lower sodium or no salt added. ALWAYS READ FOOD LABELS

Be Sodium-Savvy…Read Labels:

Be Sodium-Savvy…Read Labels Sodium Free Less than 5mg per serving Very Low-Sodium 35mg or less per serving Low-Sodium Less than 140mg per serving Reduced Sodium Sodium level reduced by 25% Unsalted, No Salt Added, or Without Added Salt Made without the salt that’s normally added. Still contains sodium that is a natural part of the food itself.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension: The DASH Diet:

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension: The DASH Diet The DASH diet is an approach to prevent or treat hypertension through lifelong dietary change. The DASH Diet may also help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Following the DASH Diet could drop your blood pressure anywhere from 8-14 points.

DASH Diet:

DASH Diet Two eating plans based off of two sodium levels: 2,300mg per day and 1,500mg per day. Emphasizes whole grains, low-fat dairy, minimum intake of saturated fats, and eating more fruits and vegetables. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY KIND OF EATING PLAN.

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Food Group Recommended Amount Servin g Size Grains 6-8 servings per day ½ cup whole wheat pasta, 1 slice whole wheat bread Vegetables 4-5 servings per day ½ cup cooked or raw vegetables, 1 cup leafy raw vegetables Fruits 4-5 servings per day 1 medium piece of fruit, ½ cup canned, ¼ cup dried Low-Fat Dairy 2-3 servings per day 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1 ½ oz cheese Lean meat, poultry, or fish 2 or fewer servings per day 2 ½ - 3 ½ oz cooked Nuts, seeds, and legumes 4-5 servings per week ¼ cup cooked beans, ¼ cup nuts, 2 Tbsp peanut butter Fats and oils 2-3 servings per day 1 tsp margarine, 2 Tbsp low-fat salad dressing Sweets 5 or fewer servings per week Limited, small amounts

Basic Tips to Follow the DASH Diet:

Basic Tips to Follow the DASH Diet Add a serving of vegetables at lunch and at dinner. Add a serving of fruit to your meals or as a snack. Use only half the butter, margarine, or salad dressing, and use low-fat or fat-free condiments. Drink low-fat or skim dairy products three times a day. Limit meat to six ounces a day. Try eating some vegetarian meals. Add more vegetables, rice, pasta, and dry beans to your diet. Instead of typical snacks (chips, etc.), eat unsalted pretzels or nuts, raisins, graham crackers, low-fat and fat-free yogurt and frozen yogurt; unsalted plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables. Read food labels carefully to choose products that are lower in sodium.

Questions for your doctor::

Questions for your doctor: What do my blood pressure numbers mean? What should my blood pressure be? What are my options to control high blood pressure? How often should my blood pressure be checked? What about home blood pressure monitors? Should I use blood pressure machines at stores? How does exercise affect my blood pressure? What's my daily sodium (or salt) limit? Will I need to take blood pressure medicine?


The American Heart Association has an extensive list of online and print resources, including: Heart Profiler Treatment Options HBP Risk Calculator Low-Sodium Recipes Blood Pressure Trackers Medical Illustrations and Animations High Blood Pressure Videos Blood Pressure Quizzes Subscribe to High Blood Pressure E-newsletter High Blood Pressure and Other Educational Brochures High Blood Pressure Personal Stories Resources

My Life Check: Live Better with Life’s Simple 7:

My Life Check: Live Better with Life’s Simple 7

Heart 360:

Heart 360


References American Heart Association National Institutes of Health WebMD Hypertension Health Center

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[email protected] Thank you for your attendance, this [email protected] presentation is presented by Clarke & Company Benefits as part of our LiveWell 24/7 wellness programs and brought to you through our employee WorkPerks program.