High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Lifestyle & Management

Treatment for high blood pressure usually begins with changes in diet and lifestyle instead of medication.

However, if your blood pressure is very high and/or you have other medical conditions, it may mean that medications should be started right away.

Lifestyle changes may be enough to manage blood pressure. These changes include:  

  • Lowering salt and fat in the diet.
  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • Exercising.
  • Losing weight (if needed).

Be sure talk with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine when you have high blood pressure or are getting treatment for it. 

The DASH Diet

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends a diet that helps lower high blood pressure. It is called the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Following it requires:

  • Lowering salt intake.
  • Eating healthy foods, including nuts, whole grains, beans, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals.


Last Updated March 2023

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