Experts top tips to help bring down harmful blood pressure readings

Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure

Being overweight, eating too much salt and not enough fruit and vegetables, and drinking too much alcohol or coffee are just a few things that can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure.

But simple lifestyle changes can help keep your blood pressure in check. Sandhu offered his “top tips”.

“A top tip is to avoid adding additional table salt to foods or as a seasoning,” he said.

“And look out for the ‘traffic light coding’ on food packaging (aim to eat less than 6g of salt per day).”

When looking at a ready meal, for example, Sandhu recommended aiming for one that has been coded green for salt.

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Sandhu recommended improving your diet by “making healthy choices”, such as “eating more fruit and vegetables” – aiming for at least five portions daily.

When it comes to the drinks you consume, Sandhu suggested limiting caffeine as “drinking more than four cups of coffee can increase blood pressure”.

Sandhu cautioned: “Watch out for energy drinks and other soft drinks, such as cola, which can also include caffeine.”

In light of May Measurement Month – a health campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of elevated blood pressure and hypertension – Sandhu said now is the “perfect time to take control and get your blood pressure checked.”

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He added: “We are delighted to be supporting this campaign. Hypertension (more commonly known as high blood pressure) can cause a range of health issues.”

Worryingly, Sandhu mentioned that hypertension “often comes with no symptoms”.

Yet, “knowing your number is one of the most important things people can do”.

People can go into a Well Pharmacy across England during the month of May to have their blood pressure checked in a private consultation room.

Sandu said: “If the reading is high, they may offer them an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) device to wear which could result in a referral to their GP.

“This automatically measures blood pressure at regular intervals over a 24-hour period, allowing for a more detailed view of what is happening.”

If you would like more support on how you can lead a healthy lifestyle, Sandhu shared his advice.

“Pop in and speak to your pharmacy team,” he said. “Our Healthy Living Champions and pharmacy colleagues are trained in healthy living advice to support you to make healthy changes to your lifestyle.

“They can also advise about taking a blood pressure measurement at home and how to interpret your results.”

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