Obesity and hypertension are the primary causes of cardiovascular diseases. Obese individuals are at high risk if they tend to carry their weight around their bellies or abdomen.

Why Does Obesity Cause Hypertension?

Obesity is the major risk factor for high blood pressure or hypertension. People with Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30 are generally considered obese. When one is overweight or obese, one’s heart works harder to pump blood through one’s body. This extra effort causes strain on the arteries. The arteries, in turn, resist this blood flow, causing high blood pressure.

What Dietary Changes Decrease The Risk Of Hypertension?

Research suggests that the following dietary changes help control high blood pressure.

  • Low sodium (salt) intake: Reducing sodium consumption can lower high blood pressure. The body requires a small amount of sodium in the diet, and most people consume more than they need. A key source of excessive sodium is the salt contained in packaged and processed foods. Removing the saltshaker from the table is also good to avoid sprinkling extra salt on food.
  • Eat more fiber: Adding fiber-rich foods such as fruits and green vegetables to one’s diet may control high blood pressure. The recommended amount of dietary fiber to manage hypertension is 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Whole grains and breakfast cereals are also good sources of dietary fiber.
  • Limit alcohol: Excessive alcohol also increases the risk of high blood pressure. People who consume alcohol regularly seem to have an increased risk of high blood pressure compared to non-drinkers and occasional drinkers.

Which Lifestyle Changes Help Manage Hypertension?

Alongside dietary changes, lifestyle modification is essential to manage hypertension and reduce the risk of comorbidities such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. The following tips could be effective.

  • Shed those extra pounds: Since obesity and high blood pressure are closely linked, losing those extra inches is the best way to reduce blood pressure. It does not require a special weight loss program to make a difference. Simple dietary changes such as eliminating refined sugars and processed foods and using lean cuts of meat can help with weight loss. Eating simple home-cooked meals is a great practice.
  • Physical activity: People with high blood pressure should be physically active. At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day is essential. Cycling, brisk walking, yoga, or aerobics are some light exercises that can help reduce high blood pressure and weight loss.
  • Reduce stress: Stress hormones constrain the blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. Over time, stress and unhealthy habits can risk one’s cardiovascular health. Reducing stress is the key to lowering one’s blood pressure. Pursuing hobbies, meditation, exercise, and deep breathing are ways to keep stress at bay.


Obesity and blood pressure are strongly associated. However, weight loss, dietary changes, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are effective ways to regulate high blood pressure.

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