One of the first things discussed after the diagnosis of high blood pressure is how to know when you are controlling it and when you are not controlling it. Your good health is at risk if you do not know the difference between the two. Controlling it requires a combination of factors. These factors include diet, exercise, monitoring and possibly blood pressure medication.

Controlling it is something that everyone has been diagnosed should be taught how to do and to their surprise that they discover that once they start doing these things they will be living a healthier lifestyle than before they were diagnosed with it.

One of the most important things that you can do to control it is to maintain a healthy weight. You will know that you are controlling it when the numbers on the scale and the numbers on your blood pressure reading both go down (that is if you were overweight to start with). Losing any extra pounds of body weight is an excellent way to control it.

You will also be controlling it when you learn to eat a healthy diet. Most people cringe at the use of the word, “diet” because it implies that one must give up foods that they enjoy eating or that they must eat less of the foods they love. In order to control it, it is necessary to reduce the risk of being overweight, which means controlling caloric intake. It also means eating foods that are more likely to lower blood pressure readings. A healthy diet for someone trying to control it would include eating whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy foods, and vegetables. High cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure so a healthy diet means eating foods low in bad cholesterol and high in good cholesterol. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a diet plan with the purpose of controlling this medical problem.

One thing that doctors tell patients that are sufferers is to reduce the dietary intake of sodium (salt). There are many ways to do this including keeping track of just how much salt you consume each day. This is easy to do if you keep a food diary. Become an expert at reading food labels especially the area that lists the sodium content of the food item. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods such as frozen dinners, canned items and items that are boxed are all likely to be processed foods.

Two good ways of controlling high blood pressure is to avoid two things that are bad for your health – actually the consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking. If you participate in either of these two habits you are probably tired of hearing how bad doing these things are for your health. If you are serious about avoiding the medical complications like heart attacks, stroke, and death you will sometimes admit that giving up smoking or drinking may not be such a bad thing after all. If you can not give up these two habits completely reducing how much you do them will definitely help you in your bid for controlling your high blood pressure.

The best way to determine how to know when you are controlling high blood pressure is when you realize that you feel better and you notice that your blood pressure readings are consistently lower than they started out when you were first diagnosed with high blood pressure.