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The Importance of Understanding Hypertension

On 17 May, every year, we honor World Hypertension Day at Nutrition Network.

This day is highlighted to bring awareness to the destructive effects of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure on human health. 

Hypertension affects the body’s arteries. If your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. Blood pressure is usually measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). When you are diagnosed with hypertension, your blood pressure reading will be at a rate of 130/80 mm Hg or higher (1). 

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association divides blood pressure into four general categories (2).

Blood pressure readings:

  • Normal blood pressure. Blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or lower.
  • Elevated blood pressure. The top number ranges from 120 to 129 mm Hg and the bottom number is below, not above, 80 mm Hg.
  • Stage 1 hypertension. The top number ranges from 130 to 139 mm Hg or the bottom number is between 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension. The top number is 140 mm Hg or higher or the bottom number is 90 mm Hg or higher.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30 to 79 years worldwide have high blood pressure, most of whom are living in low- and middle-income countries (3). 

We encourage you to contact your healthcare provider to assess your blood pressure using a blood pressure test, in order to determine if you have a higher-than-normal blood pressure reading, as more often than not you won’t experience any major symptoms and would need to have it checked. Your healthcare provider or doctor,  will examine you and ask questions about your medical history and any symptoms that you may be experiencing.

Here is a 101 list of carbohydrate-restricted eating tips that have been shown to reduce insulin, blood pressure, and overall body weight:

  • Avoid added sugar
  • Avoid grains and starches
  • Choose real, whole, and unprocessed foods – the less packaging and processing the better
  • Eat a variety of animal-based real foods and brightly colored vegetables

Access our Hypertension Reference Handout by clicking here and downloading it! 

Did you know that we have created a brand new Doctors Desk Mini-Training by Professor Tim Noakes on Heart Health? Your key learning objectives:

  • Why the longstanding diet-heart hypothesis is incorrect
  • Why high cholesterol does not cause heart disease
  • Why there is no evidence to support the use of statins

FREE for Premium and Elite Nutrition Network Members of the Community Membership Platform – open for enrollment! Click here to upgrade your membership for as little as $15 / month!

Reference List 

  1. Mayo Clinic – High blood pressure hypertension (May 2023) 
  2. The American College of Cardiology blood pressure readings (August 2022)

World Health Organization – Hypertension (March 2023)

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