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Know Your Numbers

High blood pressure, which significantly increases a person's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, is known as the "Silent Killer." Many people don't know they have high blood pressure until damage has occurred. A healthy blood pressure reading is 120/80.

What you can do:

1. Eat a healthy diet consisting of numerous fruits and vegetables and few high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
2. Limit processed, pre-packaged, and restaurant foods - they are loaded with sodium.
3. Do not add salt to food!
4. Daily recommendation for sodium intake: 2,300 mg. Adults age 51 and older, African Americans of any age, and individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should reduce sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day. Most Americans eat triple that amount in one day!
5. Exercise! Exercise lowers blood pressure. Shoot for 30 minutes most days of the week.
6. Stop smoking! Smoking injures blood vessels and speeds up hardening of arteries, increasing risk of stroke or heart attack.
7. Visit your health care provider to have blood pressure checked yearly. Purchase a blood pressure cuff at a pharmacy.  

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