Diabetes and Hypertension – What You Need to Know

When is comes to controlling blood sugar the focus tends to be on carbohydrates. While this is important, it’s also imperative to know that diabetes and heart disease are directly linked together. Having said that, heart health is just as important as blood sugar control.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be a silent killer. It usually shows no symptoms.If you currently have high blood pressure, you are definitely not alone. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans has hypertension and 2 out of 3 people with diabetes report having hypertension or are taking prescription medications to lower their blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Chart

Category  Systolic

(top number)

  Diastolic

(bottom number)

Normal: Less than 120 and Less than 80
Pre-hypertension: 120 – 139 or 80 – 89
High blood pressure:
Stage 1 140 – 159 or 90 – 99
Stage 2 160 or higher or 100 or higher

It is also thought that people with diabetes and hypertension have low-grade inflammation which may be a cause for increased insulin resistance and hardening of the arteries (also known as atherosclerosis).

 

What Can You Do?

Getting your blood pressure checked at every doctor appointment is a MUST. You can also head on over the any pharmacy and get your blood pressure checked for free –> haven’t you ever seen those chairs you sit in and put your arm through the cuff? Yep, that’s the one I’m talking about.

Hypertension is often related to diet, but is also linked with stress and being overweight. If you have a poor diet and are overweight this puts extra stress on your heart. NOT a good idea!

Sodium, or salt, intake has the biggest impact on your blood pressure. And you’ll often find high sodium content in packaged foods.

If you cook at home I advise you to put down that salt shaker and use fresh herbs and spices to flavor your foods.

Don’t know what to use for flavor? Experiment with these herbs and spices: dried oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, coriander, garlic powder (not garlic salt), cayenne pepper, black pepper, turmeric, chili powder, ground cumin, dried mustard…etc. The list goes on.

 

Dietary Interventions

 # 1:

Cut out the salt! Put down the salt shaker and reduce the amount of food you eat out in a restaurant OR in a package. Salt is a natural additive to packaged foods to make them last longer, but it does the opposite to your heart if consumed in excess — in other words, too much salt makes your heart work harder which decreases its life span.

Pay attention to food labels. Normal sodium intake should be less than 2300 mg per day. If you have high blood pressure you should really aim to keep your sodium intake at 1500-2000 mg per day.

Here is what you are looking for when reading labels:

Look at the top of the nutrition facts panel and search for “serving size” – this means that this serving size contains all of the nutrition labeled. Then scroll down the label and look for sodium. Example: One serving of beans is 1/2 cup and it contains 240 mg sodium PER 1/2 cup. So if you ate a full cup you would be eating 480 mg sodium.

Another example:

#2:

Magnesium plays a big role in healing hypertension. While we all have stress in our lives, chronic stress increases our blood sugar and causes your heart to work overtime. When we are under stress, our cells go through a cellular change. Cellular magnesium deficiency can also express itself as fatigue and low energy; inability to sleep; muscle tension, spasms and cramps; anxiousness and nervousness; headaches; constipation and abnormal heart rhythms. Read more HERE for more information on the benefits of magnesium and how it can help with your hypertension.

#3:

Beets are packed full of nitric oxide which is responsible for opening up your blood vessels allowing for more oxygen to flow through. Read HERE for more information on the benefits of beet juice and where you can find it.

#4:

  Collagen Peptides or Bone Broth Collagen are two products that I swear by. Not only is collagen essential to our body and bone health, but it plays a large role in our gut health as well. Not all collagen is the same so you want to make sure you are getting a whole food based product like this one.

Collagen is the building block for our hair, skin, nails, bones and joints. It plays a role in reducing inflammation which is present when you have hypertension.

Read more information on collagen —> —> —> HERE 

 

Hypertension can be healed with dietary intervention like the ones listed above. Stress management, maintaining a healthy weight and exercise are also contributors to this silent disease. Take care of yourself! Comment below with any questions you may have and remember:

You are not responsible for your illness, you are responsible for your wellness!

Author: Katie

Hi! I'm Katie, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. This website it dedicated to those looking to heal their bodies from the inside out - and it all starts with balancing out your blood sugar. Let's heal disease together one plate at a time.

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