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Healthy behaviors contribute to keeping your blood pressure low, which in turn decreases your risk of heart disease.


Sodium is the element in salt that can raise blood pressure. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed and restaurant foods. Eating too much sodium can increase blood pressure. Not eating enough potassium (from fruits and vegetables) can also increase blood pressure.


Being overweight can cause high blood pressure.

Physical Inactivity

Not getting enough exercise can make you gain weight, which can lead to high blood pressure.

Alcohol Use

Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.

Tobacco Use

Smoking raises your risk for high blood pressure.


Blood pressure levels that are higher than normal put you at risk for developing high blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Levels
Systolic: less than 120 mmHg
Diastolic: less than 80 mmHg
At risk (prehypertension)
Systolic: 120–139 mmHg
Diastolic: 80–89 mmHg
Systolic: 140 mmHg or higher
Diastolic: 90 mmHg or higher

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