Prehypertension is blood pressure readings with a systolic pressure from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure from 80 to 90 mm Hg. If you don't take steps to take charge of it, prehypertension can develop into high blood pressure (hypertension) with readings equal to or greater than 140/90 mm Hg.
“The good news is prehypertension can be prevented or reversed by making healthier choices daily,” says Dr Ian Phoon, Associate Consultant from SingHealth Polyclinics in Singapore. Here are some of Dr Phoon's top tips on what to eat and do to prevent prehypertension from becoming high blood pressure.
Doctor shares five ways to prevent or reverse prehypertension
#1: Reduce your salt intake
Consuming too much salt is tied to a host of health issues, including high blood pressure
. You can easily cut down on salt by saying no to canned foods, instant noodles, salty soups, potato chips and fried foods. You should also aim to eat less condiments such as mayonnaise, chilli sauce, soya sauce and oyster sauce.
#2: Fill up on fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet
. They help your kidneys get rid of excess sodium, which, in turn, helps lower your blood pressure
. Eat at least two servings each of fruits and vegetables per day. Also eat more legumes, whole grains and unsalted seeds and nuts.
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#3: Eliminate saturated fats
Choose heart-healthy fats like low-fat
dairy products and lean cuts of meat over saturated fats, which are found in processed foods like bacon, ham and hotdogs. Saturated fats increase your LDL cholesterol
and risk of high cholesterol
, which worsens prehypertension.
#4: Limit your alcohol intake
Alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure
. Men shouldn’t have more than two drinks per day, while women shouldn’t have more than one. One standard drink is roughly the amount of alcohol contained in one can of beer.
#5: Give up smoking
Smoking makes your heart work harder and overtime, which can increase your blood pressure
PS: Did you know that just one sugary drink per day can boost your blood pressure? Learn more here