Hav­ing more than one stan­dard drink a day can in­crease your blood pres­sure.

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of sodium for adults is 1.9g (one-third of a tea­spoon) to 2.3g a day.

If you cook most of your meals us­ing fresh, nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents, you’ll be bet­ter able to con­trol your salt in­take. But if you eat out a lot, or rely on pro­cessed foods (for ex­am­ple, canned soup, deli meats and in­stant noo­dles) you might not be aware of how much salt you’re con­sum­ing. So al­ways check the nu­tri­tion la­bels for sodium con­tent.

The prob­lem with salt is that much of it is hid­den – for ex­am­ple, in gravy, sauces and soups, so cut back on these when eat­ing out. If you are hy­per­ten­sive, re­duc­ing your daily salt in­take from 4g to 2.3g can lower your blood pres­sure by 5/3 mmHg.

A diet high in sat­u­rated fat and choles­terol isn’t good ei­ther.

Both are risk fac­tors for high blood pres­sure and heart dis­ease. Fill up on low-fat, high-fi­bre foods in­stead. A stan­dard drink is equal to 220ml of beer (two-thirds of a small can), 100ml of wine (one glass) or 30ml of spir­its. The dan­ger with al­co­hol is that it adds un­wanted calo­ries to your diet, which may cause you to gain weight.

Ex­er­cis­ing for 30min at least five days a week helps.

As a drop in blood pres­sure is as­so­ci­ated more with the in­ten­sity than the fre­quency of ex­er­cise, go for calo­rie-torch­ing work­outs that in­crease your heart rate. Run­ning, dancing, jump­ing rope and aer­o­bics are all high-in­ten­sity ex­er­cises.

Con­stant stress puts you at risk too.

People who are con­stantly stressed are more at risk of de­vel­op­ing hy­per­ten­sion than those who have lit­tle stress in their life. Ex­perts still don’t fully un­der­stand why this is so.

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