According to statistics from the American Heart Association, about 74.5 million people in the United States, or one in three adults, has dangerously high blood pressure—also called hypertension. It’s often called the “silent killer” because it’s asymptomatic, and if left untreated it can result in a heart attack, stroke or death.
Five Ways to Develop Dangerously High Blood Pressure
Eat as much salty food as you can—the more the better! Eat pickles, salted pretzels, processed foods and more. Strive to consume at least two teaspoons of salt a day. Ensure that your sodium intake never dips to less than 2,000 mg (or less) which would help keep your blood pressure in the normal range.
Consume as little potassium as possible. Potassium relaxes your arterial walls, which helps bring blood pressure back into a healthy range. Plus, Harvard researchers also have found that a diet high in potassium helps to protect against stroke-related deaths in people who have dangerously high blood pressure. To ensure you don’t get the protective benefits of potassium, avoid potassium-rich foods—including bananas, raisins, baked potatoes, squash, apricots and eggplant.
Avoid eating heart-healthy omega-3s. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a component of the omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil and algae cannot only help calm the heart, it can also help bring down dangerously high blood pressure. Taking 300–800 mg daily of DHA will cause mild blood pressure lowering in most people. So, to keep your blood pressure high, avoid omega-3 rich fish oils, ground flaxseed and any other source of heart-healthy omega-3s.
Sit in your lounge chair, and avoid exercise like the plague! Regular exercise is a sure way to help prevent and reduce dangerously high blood pressure. That’s because physical activity helps to lower the levels of stress hormones circulating in your blood (stress tends to constrict arteries and drive up blood pressure). So, to keep your blood pressure high, avoid walking, cycling, dancing, yoga or any other activity that would get your heart in shape.
Avoid losing weight. Losing just 10 pounds of weight is enough for most people to lower their blood pressure significantly. To make sure you have dangerously high blood pressure, eat huge portions, choose the wrong foods, and snack as much as possible.
Obviously, all of these things are tongue in cheek. To keep your blood pressure in the healthy range, do the exact opposite of all of this “advice.”
Now it’s your turn: Which of these healthy activities do you practice?
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