Often Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is accompanied by the overweight, in particular one with adiposity predominantly abdominal . But it goes hand in hand also with a sedentary lifestyle , stress, insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes) and, of course, with bad eating habits , which are often a cause.

The first step to cure hypertension is to lose weight .
Losing weight, and in particular decreasing abdominal adiposity, is essential to reduce hypertension. But to improve blood pressure it is also useful to act on one's lifestyle, rethinking one's eating habits.

Too much salt equals hypertension
It is well established that sodium restriction ( reduction of salt use ) is as useful as the increase in potassium intake .

Primitive man - who did not suffer from hypertension! - consumed just over half a gram of salt a day, while today it is easily consumed 10 grams or more. Furthermore, the diet of our ancestor included foods of plant origin, rich in potassium, to a far greater extent than today.

Salt strongly affects the pressure: recent studies have found that for a consumption of salt between 3 and 12 grams per day, the lower the consumption, the lower the arterial pressure .

But there's more: high salt consumption can cause organ damage, even before and beyond the effects on pressure, due to an increased production of oxygen free radicals .

The effect of sodium on the risk of cardiovascular events and death is at least in part independent of the effect on blood pressure. For this reason we can say that, even without hypertension, those who consume a lot of salt face a high cardiovascular risk .
Among other concomitant factors, the presence of insulin resistance - the first step towards diabetes - increases the sensitivity of arterial pressure to sodium, ie to salt .

Other factors that contribute to worsen the situation when there is a high consumption of salt are: central adiposity (abdominal obesity) and dyslipidemia (high cholesterol and / or high triglycerides).

Other mineral salts
How much excess sodium is dangerous in the diet, so much potassium is beneficial for its protective effect against vascular lesions.
A higher intake of potassium in the diet involves the reduction of blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Potassium is mostly contained in fruit, vegetables, legumes and oily shell seeds.
This is why a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, oilseeds and legumes has a good effect on pressure and reduces the use of drugs .

Weight loss equal improvement in pressure
Obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension are phenomena linked by a common denominator. The drop in weight has a positive effect on ' lowering of blood pressure , systolic and diastolic; already in the case of modest reductions in body weight (5%) the effect is evident.
At the same time, the overall risk of developing diabetes and hypercholesterolemia is also reduced .

Macronutrients in the diet and blood pressure
If you need to lose weight to cure hypertension it is important to follow a balanced diet , which includes all the food groups: fruit and vegetables in quantity, cereals - preferably whole - dairy products, fish, meat, legumes.
And how to deal with seasonings? They are absolutely not to be eliminated!

Proteins should also be obtained from plant sources, such as legumes, which should be consumed at least twice a week; even the use of fish should be favored. Among the meats, it is better to favor the white ones.

Saturated fats
All fats of animal origin are contraindicated; to avoid also the generic "vegetable fats", hydrogenated or not. Beware of fried oils, which increase the hypertensive risk.

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats
The most common food rich in monounsaturated fats is extra virgin olive oil . According to some studies, a diet rich in olive oil promotes the reduction of blood pressure.

The systolic pressure benefits from the consumption of linoleic acid, which is found in many foods, of animal and vegetable origin. Linolenic acid, which can be found in fish and in certain foods such as flax seeds and walnuts, is also very useful.
The relationship between the individual types of fat taken with the diet is equally important; however their presence and quality is fundamental. No reasonable diet should rule them out.

They must never be eliminated, on the contrary: they must be present as the basis of at least one daily meal.

If a moderate consumption of alcohol - especially red wine - has beneficial effects such as the increase of circulating omega-3s in an inflammatory function, its excessive consumption can cause an increase in arterial pressure , triglycerides and central adipose tissue, which has , in turn, a hypertensive effect.

Physical exercise
Experts agree in affirming the health benefits of regular aerobic physical activity, which engages the large muscle groups, carried out at low to medium load (40-50% of maximum oxygen consumption) for at least 30 minutes a day for at least 4 times a week.
These effects are direct - reduction of pressure due to the simple effect of physical activity on metabolic efficiency at all levels - and indirect - because making movement contributes to weight loss, but even more to maintaining the weight achieved with a diet.

Author's Bio: 

Shivani Sikri (Chief Nutritionist & Co-Founder, NUTRI4VERVE )

Offers intelligent diet plans for weight loss through Lifestyle Management (work routines, time constraints, eating habits, meal preferences, travel Schedules, genetics & therapeutic / family medical history) made afresh and fulfilling specific demands of clients. She offers Indian Versions of Keto Diets, Paleo diets, and other fat targeting diets so that the fat loss is everlasting and easily attainable by eating only your home cooked food.

Nutri4Verve recommends a 12-week dietary plan for Weight Loss diets, therapeutic diets with emphasis on Diabetes, Thyroid, PCOD/ PCOS, Post Pregnancy and Lipid Imbalances and others.

She has been Awarded – “Best Dietician in Delhi” at International Healthcare Summit & Awards and was winner of India’s biggest Healthcare Awards popularly known as Healthcare Oscars of India – “Superstar : Excellence in Diet & Nutrition” at Indian Health Professional Awards.