How Weight Loss Can Help Hypertension

How Weight Loss Can Help Hypertension

Hypertension results when your arteries are subjected to extreme pressure as they carry blood from the heart to other tissues and organs of the body. The more fatty tissue you have, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood, thus exerting greater pressure on arterial walls. Therefore, if you are overweight, you are more susceptible to elevated blood pressure. Obesity can make it even worse. So, if you want to lower your blood pressure, reducing your weight, even by just 5 percent, will do wonders. Therefore, it really pays to eat and live healthy. Hypertension could lead to something worse like a heart attack, stroke or some chronic disease like diabetes. If you are hypertensive, losing weight is the best way to manage your condition.

An Overworked Heart

Excessive fat keeps the body from performing all its functions efficiently, which includes the heart, which pumps oxygen and nutrient-carrying blood to all other parts that need it. An increase in fat cell population already taxes your heart considerably. That is because the capacity to pump blood does not increase proportionately; yet, it will have to work double or triple time to supply blood to more cells in the body. Thus, the pressure on walls of the arteries is greater, leading to hypertension.

Fat Distribution and Cholesterol

Sometimes, you may not necessarily be fat by normal standards, but the distribution of fat in certain parts of your body also makes you prone to hypertension. Abdominal obesity is now said to have great bearing if you are at risk for high blood pressure. If you are a man, you are abdominally obese if your waist size is greater than 102 cm (40 inches); if you are a woman, abdominal obesity means having a waist size greater than 88 cm (35 inches).

Cholesterol, especially the bad kind, likewise contributes to hypertension. Cholesterol sticks to the inner lining of the arteries and clogs them up. That is another reason why there is an increased pressure in the arteries as blood flows through them.

Diet and Exercise

The key to losing weight is increasing your metabolism, or the rate at which your body burns or uses glycogen or stored energy. Therefore, the goal is to “empty out” the fat cells as much as possible and eventually build muscle mass to kick up the metabolic rate. The more lean muscle you have, the more fats are burned.

Eating the right kinds and combinations of foods is one way to achieve this. Regular exercise, even just the minimum required of 30 minutes a day, will likewise bring you closer to your goal of shedding those unhealthy pounds and managing your blood pressure.

Dieting to lose weight is not just veering away from foods that are harmful to your body, or cutting food consumption, but also eating a wide variety that has a lot of nutritive value, especially if you are suffering from hypertension. Healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals often have properties that control blood pressure.