To help the millions of Americans currently living with high blood pressure reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke, the American Medical Association (AMA) is offering tips that Americans can take to improve their heart health. The release of these tips coincides with the start of February’s American Heart Month this week. The AMA’s tips for improving heart health to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, include the following:
1. Know your blood pressure numbers— visit ManageYourBP.org to better understand your blood pressure numbers and take necessary steps to get your high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, under control. Doing so will reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
2. Commit to a treatment plan to manage high blood pressure— work with your doctor to create an individualized treatment plan that includes healthy lifestyle changes that you can realistically stick to long-term to help you maintain a lower blood pressure and lower your risk for negative health consequences.
4. Reduce your intake of processed foods, especially those with added sodium and sugar— making simple dietary changes can help you manage or prevent high blood pressure, including eating less sodium, red meat and processed meats, reducing the amount of packaged, processed foods you consume—especially those with added sodium and sugar, and reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Eat foods that are rich in potassium and add more plant-based foods, such as olive oil, nuts and seeds to your diet.