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Diet and Hypertension

Created by:
Tricia Fleming, University of Kansas Dietetic Intern
Tammy Beason, MS, Nutrition Education Specialist,
Family Nutrition Education Program
December 2001
What is Blood Pressure?

❖ The force of blood against the wall of

the arteries.
❖ Systolic- as the heart beats
❖ Diastolic - as the heart relaxes
❖ Written as systolic over diastolic.
❖ Normal Blood pressure is less than 130
mm Hg systolic and less than 85 mm
Hg diastolic.
High Blood Pressure

❖ A consistent blood pressure of 140/90

mm Hg or higher is considered high
blood pressure.
❖ It increases chance for heart disease,
kidney disease, and for having a stroke.
❖ 1 out of 4 Americans have High Bp.
❖ Has no warning signs or symptoms.
Why is High Blood Pressure
❖ Makes the Heart work too hard.
❖ Makes the walls of arteries hard.
❖ Increases risk for heart disease and
❖ Can cause heart failure, kidney disease,
and blindness.
How Does It Effect the Body?
The Brain
❖ High blood pressure is the most
important risk factor for stroke.
❖ Can cause a break in a weakened blood
vessel which then bleeds in the brain.
The Heart

❖ High Blood Pressure is a major risk

factor for heart attack.
❖ Is the number one risk factor for
Congestive Heart Failure.
The Kidneys

❖ Kidneys act as filters to rid the body of

❖ High blood pressure can narrow and
thicken the blood vessels.
❖ Waste builds up in the blood, can result
in kidney damage.
The Eyes

❖ Can eventually cause blood vessels to

break and bleed in the eye.
❖ Can result in blurred vision or even
The Arteries

❖ Causes arteries to harden.

❖ This in turn causes the kidneys and
heart to work harder.
❖ Contributes to a number of problems.
What causes High Blood
❖ Causes vary
❖ Narrowing of the arteries
❖ Greater than normal volume of blood
❖ Heart beating faster or more forcefully
than it should
❖ Another medical problem
❖ The exact cause is not known.
Who can develop High Blood
❖ Anyone, but it is more common in:
❖ African Americans- get it earlier and
more often then Caucasians.
❖ As we get older. 60% of Americans
over 60 have hypertension.
❖ Overweight, family history
❖ High normal bp:135-139/85-89 mm Hg.

❖ Dr.’s will diagnose a person with 2 or

more readings of 140/90mm Hg or
higher taken on more than one
❖ White-Coat Hypertension
❖ Measured using a spygmomameter.
Tips for Having your blood
pressure taken.
❖ Don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes
for 30 minutes before.
❖ Before test sit for five minutes with
back supported and feet flat on the
ground. Test your arm on a table even
with your heart.
❖ Wear short sleeves so your arm is
Tips for having blood pressure
❖ Go to the bathroom before test. A full
bladder can affect bp reading.
❖ Get 2 readings and average the two of
❖ Ask the Dr. or nurse to tell you the
result in numbers.
Categories of High Blood
❖ Ages 18 Years and Older)
❖ Blood Pressure Level (mm Hg)
❖ Category Systolic Diastolic
❖ Optimal** < 120 < 80
❖ Normal < 130 < 85
❖ High Normal 130–139 85–89
Categories of High Blood
High Blood Pressure

❖ Stage 1 140–159 /90–99

❖ Stage 2 160–179 /100–109
❖ Stage 3 180 /110
Preventing Hypertension

Adopt a healthy lifestyle by:

❖ Following a healthy eating pattern.

❖ Maintaining a healthy weight.
❖ Being Physically Active.
❖ Limiting Alcohol.
❖ Quitting Smoking.
DASH diet

❖ Dietary Approaches to Stop

❖ Was an 11 week trial.
❖ Differences from the food pyramid:
❖ an increase of 1 daily serving of
❖ and increase of 1-2 servings of fruit.
❖ inclusion of 4-5 servings of nuts,seeds,
and beans.
Tips for Reducing Sodium

❖ Buy fresh, plain frozen or canned “no

added salt” veggies.
❖ Use fresh poultry, lean meat, and fish.
❖ Use herbs, spices, and salt-free
seasonings at the table and while
❖ Choose convenience foods low in salt.
❖ Rinse canned foods to reduce sodium.
Maintain Healthy Weight

❖ Blood pressure rises as weight rises.

❖ Obesity is also a risk factor for heart
❖ Even a 10# weight loss can reduce
blood pressure.
Be Physically Active

❖ Helps lower blood pressure and lose/

maintain weight.
❖ 30 minutes of moderate level activity on
most days of week. Can even break it
up into 10 minute sessions.
❖ Use stairs instead of elevator, get off
bus 2 stops early, Park your car at the
far end of the lot and walk!
Limit Alcohol Intake

Alcohol raises blood pressure and can

harm liver, brain, and heart
What counts as a drink?
❖ 12 oz beer
❖ 5 oz of wine
❖ 1.5 oz of 80 proof whiskey
Quit Smoking

❖ Injures blood vessel walls

❖ Speeds up process of hardening of the
Other Treatment

❖ If Lifestyle Modification is not working,

blood pressure medication may be
needed, there are several types:
❖ Diuretics-work on the kidney to remove
access water and fluid from body to
lower bp.
❖ Beta blockers-reduce impulses to the
heart and blood vessels.
Other Treatment

❖ ACE inhibitors- cause blood vessels to

relax and blood to flow freely.
❖ Angiotensin antagonists- work the
same as ACE inhibitors.
❖ Calcium Channel Blockers- causes the
blood vessel to relax and widen.
❖ Alpha Blocker- blocks an impulse to the
heart causing blood to flow more freely.
Other Treatment

❖ Alpha-beta blockers- work the same as

beta blockers, also slow the heart down.
❖ Nervous system inhibitors- slow nerve
impulses to the heart.
❖ Vasodilators- cause blood vessel to
widen, allowing blood to flow more

❖ Hypertension is a very controllable

disease, with drastic consequences if
left uncontrolled.

❖ Great Resource: