Lifestyle modifications and non-drug therapies are a vast group of measures essential to the prevention and management of hypertension. International experts unanimously recommend some of them. However, not all measures are equally valuable or have the same evidence base. The first step in the management of patients at any age who have hypertension should be a reduction in salt intake, either alone or in combination with drug therapy, to which is often additive. A high potassium diet achieved with an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables is also recommended. Weight reduction, regular dynamic exercise and reduction of alcohol consumption should be included in management plans for the prevention and non-pharmacological treatment of hypertension. The qualitative composition of diet is also an important factor to consider for the prevention and management of hypertension. Beyond the benefits associated with specific nutrients, adherence to a dietary pattern based on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, as part of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention, is a suitable, cost-effective approach to prevent high blood pressure in normotensive individuals; moreover, if combined with reduced sodium intake, it may represent an alternative to drug therapy for individuals with mild hypertension willing to comply with long-term dietary changes.
Keywords: Hypertension, lifestyle modifications, weight loss, salt reduction, dynamic exercise, alcohol reduction
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