- Avoid Junk Food
Believe it or not, junk food is not a staple just for kids. Mature women also love candy, cake, fries and soda. Unless they are on a diet, many women feel it is okay to eat whatever they want because they are older. They have reached a point in their lives where they feel they have earned the right to eat whatever they want. However, once we are post-menopause, the importance of a healthy diet and weight maintenance increases. Generally speaking, women gain weight after menopause. This weight gain often leads to hypertension. While totally eliminating your favorite sweets might be tough, reserving the pies and cakes as an occasional treat is in your best interest if you want to control your blood pressure.
- Choosing Price Over Nutrition
Many times when we are in the market we reach for the items that are the least expensive without regard to their nutritional value. While this strategy might be right for our pocket, it reeks havoc on our overall health. Always try to buy the best quality you can afford. Try to buy organic, if possible and whole foods. If you are worried about your budget, check out stores like Walmart that are now trying to stock healthier organic options at reasonable prices.
Also try to avoid convenience food options. Soup has always been considered an inexpensive healthy food option. However, most canned soups and even pre-made soups in the Deli section of the supermarket can contain a ton of sodium, some with upwards of 1000 mgs! Look for lower sodium options, or better yet, make homemade soup from whole ingredients. That way you can control what’s in it, including amount of sodium.
- Buying something without reading the label first.
When buying goods outside of fresh foods, always check the number of ingredients. The more simple the ingredients, the better. Also look at the type of ingredients. For example, if you pick up a jar of tomato sauce and the first two ingredients are tomatoes and sugar, a better option might be a sauce with tomatoes and olive oil as the first two ingredients and leaving the sugar out altogether.
- Avoid sugar sweetened beverages.
While it is not surprising that excessive fructose in your diet can lead to obesity and in turn high blood pressure, what you might not know is that excessive sugar can directly cause hypertension. A study published in the December 2019 Journal of the American Heart Association found that there was a correlation between sugar-sweetened drinks like soda and an increase in blood pressure. Interestingly, the study also found that sugar from natural sources like fruit, however, might not have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure. So instead of reaching for that orange soda, reach for an orange to quell your sugar fix.