Maintaining a healthy weight and choosing a diet that is low in salt can help blood pressure stay at normal levels, but some patients need more than dietary changes to solve blood pressure issues. There are many factors that affect blood pressure, including diet, stress and genetics, according to WebMD.
People who are overweight are two to six times more likely to have high blood pressure than those who are at healthy weights, so losing weight is an excellent way for many patients to reduce blood pressure, reports WebMD. In addition, patients who lower the amount of salt in their diets often see a corresponding decrease in blood pressure levels.
The DASH Diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, can help patients reduce their blood pressure by a few points in as little as two weeks, according to Mayo Clinic. The diet emphasizes plenty of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, along with fish, poultry, nuts and whole grains, and it is low in cholesterol, saturated fat and total fat.
If diet is not enough to lower blood pressure to acceptable levels, many other treatment options are available. Doctors typically prescribe medications to lower blood pressure to under 140/90 in patients younger than 60 and 150/90 in patients over age 60, according to WebMD.