Relying on prescription medications to control hypertension is better than not doing anything at all. However, changing diet and lifestyle will have a greater legacy effect than medication alone. Research has repeatedly shown that long term improvements in diet and lifestyle can reduce blood pressure by as much as 11mg Hg. Certain foods have been shown to increase blood pressure and some foods lower blood pressure. Weight management is also an important factor in regulating blood pressure in many individuals. If a person is overweight or obese, then losing weight will help to lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet has been successfully used to treat hypertension and will effectively help with weight loss if calories are appropriately restricted. In this module you have been given dietary advice and tips to help improve your nutritional intake. Making small changes can make a big difference, so do not be disheartened if you cannot embrace all the dietary modifications that are recommended. Do what you can do. Your efforts will be rewarded by knowing that you have improved your risk of heart attack and stroke and that will help to improve not only your quality of life, but the risk of comorbidities which can be debilitating.