I was reading in the news today and read that a federal panel has a familiar prescription to reduce hypertension, something that has the potential to cause heart problems and raise health care costs in this country if untreated (http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-sci-hypertension23-2010feb23,0,4388789.story). They indicate the incidence of hypertension has increase by 25% in the last decade. Many packaged and restaurant foods use salt as a cheap way of adding flavor and as we rely on these types of meals, we exceed the recommended daily allowance of salt by at lease 50%. Many physicians are rushed because of our current health care systems reluctance to pay them for time spent, which has created the quick office visit and the receipt of a script for a drug that will help the kidneys lower your blood pressure artificially (thank you insurance industry for introducing this problematic paradigm - cost effective not!!!!!!!!!). Most physicians would love to spend more time with their patients and would except for the fact it would put them out of business which is why some no longer take insurance and instead charge a fair rate for their time and caring (a better paradigm IMHO).
To summerize, the panel advocates that you
1. Reduce your weight - has a positive effect on blood pressure.
2. Reduce your salt intake.
3. Eat more fruit, vegetables, lean protein.
I would add the following
1. Get evaluated by your chiropractor periodically - studies show problems in the spine will affect blood pressure and getting a periodic adjustment is helpful. Your bodies neurology is part of the equation.
2. Get regular exercise - your cardiovascular system will become more efficient.