Foods to Eat More of
Foods to Limit
Low-fat dairy products
Skinless poultry and fish
Nuts and legumes
Non-tropical vegetable oils
Saturated and trans fats
Red meat (if you do eat red meat, select the leanest cuts)
Sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages
When buying food, get into the habit of reading the labels. Look out for foods containing saturated fat or trans fat as these can raise cholesterol. Avoid eating foods that are high in sodium (salt) as these can increase blood pressure. In general, the higher your salt intake, the higher your blood pressure.
You can start taking these steps today, it may even be possible to avoid taking medication if you make these changes early enough.
It is advisable for everyone with high blood pressure to make these healthy lifestyle changes. Some simple changes will often help reduce high blood pressure (hypertension), although some people may also need medication.
Whether medication is recommended depends on your blood pressure and whether you are at risk of developing problems such as heart attacks or strokes. Your doctor will take samples for blood and urine tests and ask questions about your health to determine your risk of developing other problems.
There are various medications used in controlling high blood pressure and many people find they need to take more than one kind. Which medications are recommended for you will depend on age and ethnicity.
Some people may find they need to take medication for blood pressure for the rest of their lives, although this can be reassessed if your blood pressure remains consistently low for several years.
You must take your blood pressure medication as directed because if you miss doses, it won’t be as effective.
Below is a list from the NHS website of different blood pressure medication:
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduce blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels.
Common examples are enalapril, lisinopril, perindopril and ramipril.
The most common side effect is a persistent dry cough. Other possible side effects include headaches, dizziness and a rash.
ARBs work in a similar way to ACE inhibitors. They're often recommended if ACE inhibitors cause troublesome side effects.
Common examples are candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, valsartan and olmesartan.
Possible side effects include dizziness, headaches, and coldor flu-like symptoms.
Calcium channel blockers reduce blood pressure by widening your blood vessels.
Common examples are amlodipine, felodipine and nifedipine. Other medicines such as diltiazem and verapamil are also available.
Possible side effects include headaches, swollen ankles and constipation.
Drinking grapefruit juice while taking some calcium channel blockers can increase your risk of side effects.
Sometimes known as water pills, diuretics work by flushing excess water and salt from the body through urine. They're often used if calcium channel blockers cause troublesome side effects.
Common examples are indapamide and bendroflumethiazide.
Possible side effects include dizziness when standing up, increased thirst, needing to go to the toilet frequently, and a rash.
Low potassium level (hypokalaemia) and low sodium level (hyponatraemia) may also be seen after long-term use.
Beta-blockers can reduce blood pressure by making your heart beat more slowly and with less force.
They used to be a popular treatment for high blood pressure, but now only tend to be used when other treatments haven't worked.
This is because beta-blockers are considered less effective than other blood pressure medications.
Common examples are atenolol and bisoprolol.
Possible side effects include dizziness, headaches, tiredness, and cold hands and feet.