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High blood pressure can lurk beneath the surface with no identifiable symptoms, but could eventually lead to heart complications, stroke, or even death. That is why monitoring and managing your blood pressure is an important aspect of maintaining your overall health. The DASH, or Dietary Approaches to StopHypertension, diet is a heart-healthy eating plan that has been proven to assist in lowering blood pressure.
For the majority of individuals that experience high blood pressure, there is no known cause. However, an individual may experience high blood pressure due to an underlying condition. This would be referred to as secondary hypertension. Although there typically is not an identifiable cause, there are some risk factors that have been identified that contribute to the development of high blood pressure.
● Age. As you age, so will your risk for developing high blood pressure.
● Tobacco Use. Any tobacco products will increase your risk for developing high blood pressure, but can also damage the walls of your arteries.
● Alcohol Use. Binge-drinking or over consumption of alcohol can cause heart damage, affecting your blood pressure.
● Stress. Stress can cause your blood pressure to rise, although it is usually temporary. However, stress can be comorbid with other risk factors that elevate your blood pressure.
● Physical Activity. Inactivity can lead to obesity, as well as your heart having to work harder to pump your blood throughout your body.
● Salt. An increase in salt intake will cause your blood pressure to rise.
According to the CDC, high blood pressure or hypertension, is considered when your blood pressure shows readings that are consistently higher than normal. But, what is normal? Normal blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association, is when your systolic reading is less than 120mmHg and your diastolic is less than 80mmHg. The only way to know whether or not you have high blood pressure is to measure your blood pressure.
The DASH eating plan is a recommended diet for those that want help in preventing or helping to reverse hypertension, as well as reduce their risk of associated disease. The diet primarily focuses on the consumption of fruits and vegetables, after a study was conducted that showed vegans and vegetarians had lower rates of high blood pressure. While the diet is firmly rooted in fruits and veggies, it does also allot for some lean protein. This includes chicken and fish. Healthier fats, like beans and nuts, are encouraged.Sugar, sodium, and saturated fats are limited as part of the diet.
Before starting any diet or meal plan, it is imperative to speak with your primary care doctor or medical professional. This is because your medical history or current conditions could play a role in how the diet affects you. DASH does not have any real restrictions when it comes to meal planning, but instead has individuals rely on recommendations. This means the meal plan is flexible and can be adjusted to fit an individual’s own unique needs, dietary restrictions, and health goals.
While the DASH diet is specifically designed to help lower blood pressure, it can also provide you with other benefits as well.
Since this healthy eating plan cuts out high-fat and very sugary foods, you could find yourself losing weight while taking part in the diet. This is typically coinciding with a calorie deficit, whether as part of the DASH diet or an additional plan. While the DASH diet isn’t designed for massive weight loss, it can aid in the process, especially when combined with an exercise regimen.
High blood pressure is one of the primary risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Lowering your blood pressure with the DASH diet can then, in turn, help lower your associated risk for developing Type2 diabetes.
High blood pressure can lead to many consequences, some even being fatal. Lowering your blood pressure lowers your risk for developing heart disease, as less pressure is put on your heart and artery walls.
The DASH diet does not recommend specific meal plans for individuals to follow. Instead, the plan lists out the different food groups. This allows you the flexibility to control how much you consume, as well as what foods you would like to eat within that group to support your goals. The DASH diet typically recommends that no more than 1 teaspoon of salt be consumed daily. This is equivalent to the daily value, which is 2,300mg per day. However, there is also a low salt version of the DASH diet, which recommends 1,300mg per day. Before engaging in a diet or restricting your salt intake, it is imperative that you speak with your primary care physician or medical professional. Your medical professional will provide you with an individualized assessment, as well as go over your medical history, and will determine if a meal plan is an option for you.
● Whole Gains: 6 to 8 Servings Daily
● Vegetables: 4 to 5 Servings Daily
● Fruits: 4 to 5 Servings Daily
● Dairy: 2 to 3 Servings Daily
● Lean Meat: 6 or Fewer Servings Weekly
● Nuts, Seeds, Legumes: 4 to 5 Servings Weekly
● Fats and Oils: 2 to 3 Servings Daily
● Added sugars: 5 or Fewer Weekly
SmartBP, a blood pressure measurement tool compatible with Google Fit and Apple Health, provides you with a way to record, track, and analyze trends regarding your blood pressure. The information will be presented to you right at your fingertips, conveniently through your smartphone or mobile device. SmartBP gives you the power to visualize quickly what is and isn’t working for your blood pressure management. Lean into technology and start taking control of your health.
Important: The information provided is NOT a substitute for a doctor or professional healthcare or advice. Any health related information provided in SmartBP® app and this website is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the advice of healthcare professionals.
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This is so much easier than writing it down!
I’ve been having high BP readings at the clinic the last few months. Doctor is ready to put me on meds. I asked for a few weeks to check readings and improve lifestyle. This app is showing me so many things! Like what the average reading is and what percentage it’s on each category. Turns okay systolic the majority’s of the time but it looks like I have diastolic hypertension which is supposed to be rare. I wouldn’t have known this without the insights and stats screens.
Best blood pressure tracking app that I have found. Very versatile. Developer responsive and continually looking to polish the app. No regrets upgrading to paid version. Extremely happy.
This app helps me track my blood pressure and assists my doctor in helping me with my hypertension.
I had to monitor by BP for the Dr. while checking responses to medication. This was an efficient way to keep record for myself and show the Dr. my progress
I just got diagnosed with hypertension. This app has helped me and doctors find the best meds to use
Unfortunately I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and need to monitor twice daily at least and review with my doctor every three months. She and I both love the app because you can track a lot more than just BP and you can share your findings. I love that I can SEE it clearly too as some other apps I tried were very small and very light text. Even though I could track in Apple health kit I prefer this for many reasons and you can pull the data from here to there anyway AND then other apps if you do desire like LoseIt!
This is a very good app to track and analyze your blood pressure. It has been a tremendous help to me monitoring and charting my progress. I tried several apps before deciding that SmartBP was the clear winner.
A great way to keep track of your blood pressure daily so you can keep up with your numbers.
I’ve been using the app for a long time. Version 6.6 had a bug that wouldn’t open the app on my iPhone. Problem was fixed within 24 hours. Outstanding response.
SmartBP is being a great help to me tracking my blood pressure while I’m battling high pressure. Having the graphs and stats is encouraging when I see the downward trend. Being able to send a report to the doctor instantly is great for getting feedback from the doctor easily. I like that the limits can be modified and have changed mine (with help of my doctor) to reflect the parameters that apply for me. Great response from the developer to my questions and suggestions. You know you have a good app when the developer is working to make it better and responsive to input. I see from other posts that this developer is engaged with users and working on making the app even better!
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