High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is a condition many people don’t realise they have.
This is because symptoms are difficult to spot, but it’s important to know what your blood pressure reading is for serious complications such as heart attacks and strokes can occur.
One way to prevent and control the condition is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
But for cheese lovers, does this mean giving up cheese? What is the best cheese to eat to lower your reading?
Dairy products, like cheese, can be a good source of calcium, which keeps bones strong, but can also be high in saturated fat, and some cheeses can be very high in salt, according to Blood Pressure UK.
The best choices, according to the charity, are goats cheese and low-fat cheeses such as soft or cottage cheese.
Eating too much cheese can lead to high blood pressure, as well as increasing the risk of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
In the UK, the standard portion size of cheese recommended daily is 30g, says British Heart Foundation.
It adds: “Your daily diet should feature three 30g portions of dairy products, and cheese alone won’t do.”
Symptoms of high blood pressure include headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness and stomach pain.
Recognising these early signs is important if you want to avoid complications, such as a heart attack.
In severe cases, a person with high blood pressure may experience what’s known as a hypertensive crisis, which can lead to a stroke.
There are two types of hypertensive crisis – hypertensive urgency and hypertensive emergency.
Hypertensive urgency may just require an adjustment in medication and rarely requires hospitalisation.
Blood pressure which is 18/120 or greater is an indicator of this.
Hypertensive emergency is much more serious, and you should call the emergency services immediately. There are seven signs of this condition you need to know, according to the American Heart Association.
- Having blood pressure which is 180/120 or greater
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Back pain
- Change in vison
- Difficulty speaking
Hypertensive crisis is usually only caused by serious health conditions, such as forgetting to take your blood pressure medication, stroke, heart attack, heart failure,and kidney failure.
Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director of Healthspan, said if you haven’t had your blood pressure checked in the last year, make this a priority.