Monday, May 12, 2003

Tips on eating healthier?

I like so many others have a poor diet. I eat a lot of unhealthy food like bacon (I can eat like 10 pieces at a time), candy, cookies, and chips. I also love to eat pizza, tacos, canned soup, french fries and hot dogs. I eat a few healthy foods like strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, corn, and whole wheat pasta. However, I am not overweight. I am about 5'4 and weigh 125-130 pounds. My BMI is normal. I have high blood pressure (runs in my family, my eating habits are only part of the reason) What tips do you have for me (who is 19 and in college-another factor in my poor diet)? I have tried many times to eat healthier but I fail every time. Would consulting my doctor be the best option?

Answer on Tips on eating healthier?

High blood pressure is because of sodium. You said you eat a lot of bacon, pizza, tacos, canned soup and hot dogs. That is all like licking a salt lick. Also, if you have a family history of high blood pressure, that more than doubles your risk.

Cut down on the salt. Look for low sodium or no sodium in your favorite foods like bacon, and in bacon, that probably won't be possible, but moderation. Exercise will also help to lower your blood pressure. Maybe a brisk walk. About 3 miles each day or every other day will help. If you can't get your blood pressure under control, your doctor may prescribe a medication to help control that, but I recommend that you try other ways first, because medication is only like putting a bandage on a gushing wound and it isn't something you want to do the rest of your life. Also medication has side effects and is putting a chemical in your body.

If you can, cut down on the bacon, the hot dogs and the canned soup, and look for the low or no sodium, along with some walking 3 to five times a week, see if that improves your blood pressure, but also share all of that information with your doctor. Good luck to you.