NDSU Extension - Ramsey County

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How is your Blood Pressure?

“How’s Your Blood Pressure?”

By, Sara Laite, MPH, RD, LRD
Extension Agent

Do you know if you have high blood pressure or “hypertension”? As we get closer to February, Heart Month, it’s a great time to think about keeping our blood pressure in check!

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood against artery walls as the heart pumps. When you have high blood pressure, the heart and arteries have a much harder job to do! The heart has to pump harder and arteries are strained, trying to carry blood.

When you have uncontrolled blood pressure, you are at higher risk for stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Unfortunately, high blood pressure is common. According to the American Heart Association, it’s estimated that 1 in every 2 adults has it. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so many don’t even know they have it.

If you answer yes to any of these statements, you may be at risk of high blood pressure.

  • I have a family history of high blood pressure.
  • I am at or over age 45.
  • I smoke regularly.
  • I frequently have more than two alcoholic drinks at a time.
  • I eat a lot of fried foods or foods high in fat.
  • I eat a lot of foods high in salt/sodium.

 

Read on for ways you can reduce your risk of high blood pressure.

Consider looking into the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This diet promotes a lot of veggies, fruits, and low-fat dairy, and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.

Limit alcohol. Men should limit to no more than 2 drinks a day and women 1 drink per day.

Limit caffeine to no more than 200mg per day. That’s about the same as two 8-ounce cups of coffee.

Reduce sodium. Aim for less than 1,500mg per day.

Aim for 30 minutes or more of exercise most days of the week and try to maintain a healthy weight.

Have your blood pressure checked regularly by your health-care provider.

 

I have a few in my household who absolutely love Buffalo wings and anything spicy. Here’s a healthier version of Buffalo wings that just might become a staple! They would be a great addition to enjoy during the big football game coming up…hint, hint!

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces

Olive oil (or your favorite oil)

2 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. melted butter

1/3 c. hot wing sauce of choice

1 gallon or larger size plastic bag

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place cauliflower florets in bag. Drizzle enough olive oil to barely coat. Add garlic powder and pepper. Close bag and toss ingredients around until all are coated. Place on cookie sheet and bake on middle rack for 15 minutes, turning them once during baking. Check after 10 minutes for desired tenderness. Remove from oven. Melt butter and add hot sauce. Toss cauliflower and stir to cover all florets with sauce. Start with about ½ the sauce and add more to taste. Return to oven and cook for additional 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings. Each serving has 100 calories, 7g fat, 3g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 3g fiber and 510mg sodium.

For more information, contact the Ramsey County Extension Office at 701-662-7027. Website: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/ramseycountyextension. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NDSUExtRamsey/.

Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist. Healthwise for Guys: High Blood Pressure, NDSU Extension.

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