Having a poor diet and being overweight can favor the appearance of high blood pressure, being a common cause and also a risk factor.

What is high blood pressure, overweight and why is excess weight a risk factor?

Both overweight and obesity have become a very serious problem for the health of many people. So much so that even the World Health Organization (WHO) itself has come to consider it a true epidemic; an epidemic that affects millions of people around the world. And that becomes, in fact, a cause of high blood pressure.

While we speak of arterial hypertension when the systolic pressure is between 140-159mmHg and the diastolic is between 90-99mmHg, there is overweight when our body mass index (BMI) is equal to or greater than 25kg/m2, and obesity when this index is equal to or greater than 30 kg/m2.

Being overweight makes our heart have to work with greater intensity, hence, fundamentally, extra kilos are one of the main factors that must be avoided when we try to combat high blood pressure . In other words,  being overweight significantly increases the risk of suffering from this disease .

In this sense, both overweight and obesity become risk factors that negatively influence our blood pressure, in the same way that other equally common factors do, such as hereditary factors, stress , kidney disease or coronary heart disease.

Furthermore, the risk factor is much greater, and much more dangerous, if it is also combined with the existence of high levels of fats in the blood (such as cholesterol and triglycerides). Something extremely common, since excess weight is usually always accompanied by other pathologies and related problems, such as hypercholesterolemia.  What together with the genetic predisposition we find ourselves before an explosive cocktail.

And why is being overweight a cause of high blood pressure?

In addition to the fact that when we are overweight our heart tends to cause our heart to work much more forcefully (since it has to work more intensely, which influences blood pressure to rise), in turn excess fat body always present in excess weight contributes to this pressure increase. Especially since childhood.

In fact, as has been verified, it is estimated that for every 10 kilos of extra weight -or gained- blood pressure increases between 2 to 3 mm Hg.

Some useful tips if you have high blood pressure and are overweight

In this case, the relationship between the waist and hip must be taken into account, since when this relationship is greater than 0.80, the risk of suffering from high blood pressure and some type of cardiovascular problem increases.

For this reason,  weight control is essential in any medical treatment of arterial hypertension, since it is very common for the person with hypertension to also have some excess weight (perhaps not so much obesity in all cases, but a few kilos of weight). More than recommended according to their physical complexion).

But, as you can imagine, especially if you have been reading us for a long time, it is not only about taking care of ourselves by monitoring excess weight, but also taking a series of guidelines (and precautions) every day in what has to do with our daily diet:

  • Potassium: Among other issues, potassium consumption should be increased, a measure that, if combined with a reduction in salt consumption (in people with high blood pressure), can help against high blood pressure.
  • Healthy fats:  The consumption of omega 3 fatty acids should be increased, and its increase is simple, since it is only enough to consume oily fish several times a week or take a supplement or pearl of fish oil enriched with omega 3.
  • Magnesium: The magnesium intake is also associated with lower blood pressure, the like increase consumption of calcium and prevent or reduce coffee consumption.
  • Animal fats: The consumption of animal fats should be reduced to a minimum.
  • Increase other foods: It is also advisable to increase the consumption of fruit, fiber, vegetables and legumes.
  • For example, adopting the Mediterranean diet is one of the main nutritional recommendations, since it is a type of diet that is especially rich in healthy fats, where fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, white meat, oily fish, fruits dry and olive oil are the protagonists.
  • In addition, regular practice  of moderate-intensity physical exercise is essential, if possible every day (or at least 3 to 5 times a week), for at least 30 minutes.


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