Nutrition-Bites-Hype-Over-Hypertension

Nutrition Bites: Hype Over Hypertension

About 70 million Americans have it, and in 2013, it was the primary or contributing cause of death for 360,000 Americans. The "it" is hypertension also known as high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps. When the pressure is consistently too high it is called "hypertension" or high blood pressure which creates an environment where the heart is working extra hard. Life threatening complications can result from high blood pressure like heart and kidney disease, stroke and heart attack. There are a number of causes for high blood pressure such as diabetes, smoking, family history, obesity, age, inactivity and poor diet. Unfortunately, high blood pressure does not have warning signs and oftentimes people do not realize they have it. Blood pressure can easily be affected by food. Eating too much salt can cause the body to retain extra fluid making it difficult for the heart to pump, causing high blood pressure.

Since May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, as well as National Stroke Awareness Month, here are some tips to lower sodium in the diet and lower blood pressure:

o Watch out for The Salty 6: Breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, poultry, pizza, soups and sandwiches. These foods may not seem to be high in sodium but they are often prepared in ways that can add tons of sodium to the diet.
o Read the food label for sodium percentages. Sometimes food advertisements can be misleading. A good rule of thumb – if the % Daily Value for sodium is 20% or more per serving, it is considered to be high in sodium.
o Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables (choose the low sodium or no added salt canned version). These foods are naturally very low in sodium and offer tons of nutritional benefits that can lower blood pressure.
o Ditch the salt shaker. Instead, use herbs and spices to enhance the flavors of food. Lemon juice, garlic and onion powder are great on poultry, lean meats, soups and vegetables. The late Chef Paul Prudhomme even has a spice line that is salt-free and great for cooking anything.
o Exercise daily. Incorporate some physical activity every day. Try to include cardio and weight training, even if it is only for 10 minutes. Every little bit extra counts!

These few changes can help to lower and control high blood pressure and prevent complications of hypertension. More resources about prevention and treatment of high blood pressure can be found on the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Finally, the surefire way to ensure that blood pressure is controlled is to test frequently either by a health professional or with an at-home blood pressure monitor. Blood pressure screening locations are available at many retail pharmacies, like Walgreens and CVS, or your local community clinic or doctor's office.

For more information and tips visit:
millionhearts.hhs.gov
www.heart.org
www.cdc.gov
www.nhlbi.nih.gov

By Rachel Pfister, Dietetic Intern, Tulane University

(Nutrition Bites is a recurring feature that appears regularly in the Tulane PRC's e-newsletters and covers nutrition and health tips. If you have any suggestions for Nutrition Bites topics, please contact Naomi Englar at nking2@tulane.edu or 504-988-7410.)

Topics:   diet , nutrition , physical activity

Other Related Posts

Evaluation-finds-value-in-culinary-programming-at-school-based-gardens-

Evaluation finds value in culinary programming at school-based gardens

Food Environment Research

Published: September 06, 2018

School-based kitchen garden programs across the country are known to improve fruit and vegetable knowledge and consumption among school children, but their value has not yet been well quantified using research methods. Evaluation of Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESYNOLA), coordinated by the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC), sought to share how the whole school community – students, families, teachers, and neighbors – can participate in the growing, harvesting and sharing of food together as a…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Core Research

Published: September 06, 2018

My message this month is a conflicted one because we have both bad news and good news. It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce the resignation of Keelia O'Malley, MPH, (pictured left) as Assistant Director of the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). Keelia has been an energetic PRC staff person who has performed 24/7 in her role as supervisor, office manager, grants researcher, community representative and more. Keelia first came to…

Read More

Seminars-to-feature-intersections-of-health-racism-and-communication

Seminars to feature intersections of health, racism, and communication

Education & Engagement

Published: September 04, 2018

A three-part series of public seminars at Tulane is teaching attendees how to communicate about the influence of racism on health by featuring prominent local leaders. "We hope attendees will learn new ways of addressing racism in their work by hearing from leaders working in different settings to further people's health," said Shokufeh Ramirez, Assistant Director of the Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (CEMCH). "The effects of racism are pervasive and,…

Read More

Legislative-Updates

Legislative Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: September 04, 2018

New Orleans Mayor appointments new city health chief In July, two months after taking office, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell named Jennifer Avegno, MD, to serve as the Director of the New Orleans Department of Health. A New Orleans native, Avegno previously served as the Director of the Division of Community Health Relations & Engagement at LSU Emergency Medicine. She also served in overlapping capacities as an academic faculty member and staff physician throughout New…

Read More

Community-Partner-Updates

Community Partner Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: September 02, 2018

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to recently! Click on the photo for a gallery of pictures, and read below for related updates. To find out more about our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. Bike Easy (Pictures 1-3) This September, Bike Easy and a coalition of partners are working with the City of New Orleans to install a 3-month “pop-up” demonstration of a connected,…

Read More

Walk-Bike-Places-international-conference-features-Tulane-PRC-mobile-workshops

Walk Bike Places international conference features Tulane PRC mobile workshops

Physical Activity Research

Published: September 01, 2018

In September, more than 1,000 professionals and advocates of walking, biking, and place-based improvements will visit New Orleans for the international conference Walk Bike Places. The Tulane Prevention Research Center will participate in the meeting by leading two morning bike-tour mobile workshops: Monday, Sept. 17, 2018: Neighborhood Storytelling Projects of New Orleans Bike Tour, featuring the Tulane PRC's community-based health promotion program Movin' for LIFE Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018: New Orleans Healthy Food Retail Bike…

Read More

Tulane-alum-takes-helm-of-international-food-and-cooking-education-nonprofit

Tulane alum takes helm of international food and cooking education nonprofit

Education & Engagement

Published: September 01, 2018

Recent Tulane graduate Robert Palestina has his sights set on taking The Cookbook Project, an international nonprofit based in New Orleans, to the next level. Palestina, Tulane SPHTM '18, took over as executive director this summer, after completing a 300-hour internship with the nonprofit in 2017. The internship was facilitated by the Tulane Prevention Research Center's Health Promotion Practicum Program, which matches community partners with public health interns. One of his responsibilities was helping the…

Read More

Team-Spotlight

Team Spotlight

Education & Engagement

Published: September 01, 2018

We had a productive summer thanks to our two outstanding graduate research assistants Emily Szklarski and Rosemary Kovacic. Emily Szklarski (pictured left) joined our staff in March 2018 as our Graduate Communications Research Assistant to work on our e-newsletters – Fitting New Orleans and Healthscaping – as well as maintaining our social media accounts and communications locally and nationally. This summer Emily collaborated with the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine’s Nutrition Section…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-teams-up-with-Blue-Bikes-to-promote-university-discounts

Tulane PRC teams up with Blue Bikes to promote university discounts

Education & Engagement

Published: September 01, 2018

The Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) is teaming up with New Orleans' bike-share program this September to encourage the use of short-term bike rentals and overall bike safety. Blue Bikes, the city's bike-share system, has created a special rate for university faculty, staff, and students. In order to promote this special rate, the Tulane PRC and Tulane Office of Sustainability are hosting a tabling event on Tulane's downtown campus. Local bike advocacy nonprofit Bike Easy…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-surveys-people-using-and-crossing-Lafitte-Greenway-linear-park

Tulane PRC surveys people using and crossing Lafitte Greenway linear park

Education & Engagement Physical Activity Research

Published: June 30, 2018

As New Orleans moves toward 'complete streets', organizations are taking a closer look at non-motorized transportation. More bicycle lanes and walking paths are being installed throughout the city so it is important that pedestrians, cyclists and motorists interact with each other safely. Over the past year, a Tulane team of faculty, staff, and students, have been studying safety and use along the Lafitte Greenway, one of these multi-use paths. The Lafitte Greenway is a 2.6-mile…

Read More

canary