‘Saltier than seawater’: Four cheeses that can lead to high blood pressure – limit intake

High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading

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High blood pressure is a condition whereby the long-term force of the blood pushing against your artery walls is high enough to cause health problems, such as heart disease. It’s pernicious because it doesn’t present symptoms, making it easy to stumble into the danger zone. The best way to ward off the threat of hypertension is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Central to this effort is to watch your salt intake – salt raises high blood pressure.

Specific dietary items contain a high salt content so you should go easy on them.

“You don’t have to cut cheese out of your diet, but if you have high cholesterol or blood pressure, use high-fat cheeses sparingly,” warns the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

According to the BHF, some types of roquefort, halloumi, feta and cheese singles are “saltier than seawater”.

Why salt is problematic

“A high salt diet disrupts the natural sodium balance in the body,” warns Action on Salt, a group concerned with salt and its effects on health.

The health body continues: “This causes the body to retain water, which increases the pressure of the pushing of blood against the vessel walls.

“As a nation, if we can cut one gram of salt from our average daily salt intake, there would be approximately 6,000 fewer deaths from strokes and heart attacks each year in the UK.”

According to UK health guidelines, adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium) – that’s around one teaspoon.

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Other ways to keep your blood pressure in check

The NHS says: “Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure.”

According to the health body, regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.

Staying within the recommended levels is therefore the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.

UK recommendations state:

  • Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • Spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.

Regular physical activity can also land a blow to high blood pressure.

That’s because regular physical activity makes your heart stronger.

The Mayo Clinic explains: “A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. As a result, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.”

The health body adds: “Regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight — another important way to control blood pressure.”

High blood pressure does not usually have any symptoms, so the only way to find out if you have it is to get your blood pressure checked.

Healthy adults aged over 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years, says the NHS.

“If you’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure, you should have your blood pressure checked more often, ideally once a year.”

As the health body explains, having this done is easy and could save your life.

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