Nutrition Check: The SMART way to manage your high blood pressure

Nutrition Check: The SMART way to manage your high blood pressure

By Kristen Hicks-Roof PhD, RDN and Caroline Jury BS
[email protected]

Since May is Hypertension Awareness Month, we hope this column gives you some insights in serving to to handle your blood strain. Nearly half of the American grownup inhabitants have hypertension (blood strain over 130/80, and solely about 25 p.c have it below management. (CDC) In 2019, hypertension was the No. 1 reason behind demise for 500,000 folks within the United States alone.

Have you been identified with hypertension? Now what? Dealing with a brand new weight-reduction plan routine might be daunting, particularly if you’re inspired to make life-style modifications. What if I advised you there’s a SMART solution to obtain your aim in direction of a wholesome life-style? 

SMART is an acronym:

  • S: Specific — your objectives should be particular
  • M: Measurable — it’s good to have a solution to measure the way you’ll obtain your aim 
  • A: Achievable — make objectives attainable, not too straightforward however difficult.
  • R: Realistic — every particular person is totally different; your aim must be affordable for you.
  • T: Time-based — set a time to attain it.

Now let’s put it into apply. 

  • Specific: Replacing chips with a much less salty snack (e.g., vegetable sticks, unsalted nuts, fruit, low-sodium choice)
  • Measurable: Dedicate a day of the week to do it; for example, each Wednesday 
  • Achievable: Ask your self, is that this manageable so that you can change your snack as soon as per week with this more healthy different?
  • Realistic: Can you follow this problem for the measurable time interval? 
  • Time-based: Try this for the following two weeks, in order that’s a wholesome snack on Wednesday for 2 weeks. Then on the third week, add one other day of the week to dedicate a wholesome snack. By the tip of 4 weeks … that’s a month, you’re having a wholesome snack two occasions per week. 

Remember that by incorporating SMART, you will be nearer to managing hypertension one step at a time. I wish to share one in all my favourite quotes:

“When modifications are too drastic, they could be overwhelming. Small life-style modifications are simpler to attain and preserve. They usually tend to grow to be habits and lead you to success.” Dr. Lina Dajani

If you may have extra questions or want customized medical diet, don’t hesitate to contact a Registered Dietitian. Find one right here: 

Kristen Hicks-Roof PhD, RDN, LDN, CLC, FAND is an assistant professor within the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida.

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