Frequently Asked Questions

 Q : What is high blood pressure?
A : Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. Blood pressure normally rises and falls throughout the day, but it can cause health problems if it stays high for a long time
 Q : How do I learn to recognize my hunger signals?
A : One reason that many of us are not at a healthy weight is because, somewhere along the line, we stopped listening to our body signals that naturally tell us when we're hungry and when we're full.

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 Q : How can I change my eating habits?
A : The food you eat can affect your health and your risk for certain diseases. To eat healthier food, you may need to change some of your daily habits. You also may need to change some things in your environment. Your environment includes everything around you, like your home or the place you work.

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 Q : How do I stay with my healthy eating plan?
A : Eating one healthy meal isn't hard. It's not even hard to eat three healthy meals in a single day. The hard part is making changes in your daily life so that you start eating healthy every day—and keep eating healthy every day.

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 Q : How do I start healthy eating?
A : When you're trying to develop new habits, whether it's healthy eating, getting more exercise, or quitting smoking. You have a better chance of success if you make a plan ahead of time.

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 Q : What affects how I eat?
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A : Being aware of the factors that influence what and how much you eat can help you make informed eating choices.
Food is everywhere. For most people, it is easy to find something to eat, especially unhealthy options.

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 Q : Do older adults have different nutrition needs?
A : Having good nutrition is important at any age. But it is especially important for older adults. Eating a healthy diet can help keep your body strong and can help lower your risk for disease.

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 Q : What are the Dietary Guidelines for Americans?
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A : The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products. 

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 Q : What are DRIs, RDAs, and DVs?
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A : Dietary Reference Intake is a term for a set of nutrient intake recommendations for healthy people. They include the average daily level that nearly all healthy people should take to meet the nutrient requirements. They also include the maximum level a healthy person could take of a nutrient before it could cause a health problem. These are known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL).

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 Q : What are added sugars?
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A : Sugars are a type of carbohydrate that occurs naturally or that is added to a food.

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 Q : What does healthy eating mean?
A : Having a well-balanced diet means that you eat enough, but not too much, and that food gives you the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

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 Q : What is type 2 diabetes?
A : What is type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is when your body doesn’t use insulin properly. In type 2 diabetes, some people are insulin resistant, meaning that their body produces a lot of insulin but can’t use it effective.
 Q : Can Type 2 Diabetes be reversed with lifestyle change?
A : According to Sonya Collins at:

The Proof

In one study, people with type 2 diabetes exercised for 175 minutes a week, limited their calories to 1,200 to 1,800 per day, and got weekly counseling and education on these lifestyle changes. Within a year, about 10% got off their diabetes medications or improved to the point where their blood sugar level was no longer in the diabetes range, and was instead classified as prediabetes. Results were best for those who lost the most weight or who started the program with less severe or newly diagnosed diabetes. Fifteen percent to 20% of these people were able to stop taking their diabetes medications.
 Q : Are there always symptoms with High Blood Pressure?
A : According to the American Heart Association, there's a common misconception that people with high blood pressure, also called HBP or hypertension, will experience symptoms such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing. The truth is that HBP is largely a symptomless condition. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life.
Everybody needs to know their blood pressure numbers, and everyone needs to prevent high blood pressure from developing. Therefore, headaches or the lack of headaches are not reliable indicators of your blood pressure. Instead, work with your doctor and know your numbers.

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 Q : How can I stay motivated when making lifestyle changes?
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A : According to the American Psychological Association,
Make a plan that will stick.
Your plan is a map that will guide you on this journey of change. You can even think of it as an adventure. When making your plan, be specific. Want to exercise more? Detail the time of day when you can take walks and how long you’ll walk. Write everything down, and ask yourself if you’re confident that these activities and goals are realistic for you. If not, start with smaller steps. Post your plan where you’ll most often see it as a reminder.

Start small.
After you've identified realistic short-term and long-term goals, break down your goals into small, manageablesteps that are specifically defined and can be measured. Is your long-term goal to lose 20 pounds within the next five months? A good weekly goal would be to lose one pound a week. If you would like to eat healthier, consider as a goal for the week replacing dessert with a healthier option, like fruit or yogurt. At the end of the week, you’ll feel successful knowing you met your goal.

Change one behavior at a time.
Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time, so replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Many people run into problems when they try to change too much too fast. To improve your success, focus on one goal or change at a time. As new healthy behaviors become a habit, try to add another goal that works toward the overall change you’re striving for.

Ask for support.
Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and commitment. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking help from a psychologist. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body, as well as the factors that promote behavior change. Asking for help doesn't mean a lifetime of therapy; even just a few sessions can help you examine and set attainable goals or address the emotional issues that may be getting in your way. Making the changes that you want takes time and commitment, but you can do it. Just remember that no one is perfect. You will have occasional lapses.

Be kind to yourself.
When you eat a brownie or skip the gym, don’t give up. Minor missteps on the road to your goals are normal and okay. Resolve to recover and get back on track.

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 Q : Does it cost more to eat healthy?
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A : According to Alexandra Sifferlin and the smart people at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have crunched the numbers and it’s official: the healthiest diets cost just $1.50 more than unhealthy diets. Swapping out some of these less expensive, and less healthy foods, for fresher and more nutritious ones added up to only about $1.50 more per day.
That might not be a problem for some, but the study authors acknowledge that people with lower incomes may not be able to afford the added cost. But, they hope, the small difference may put more nutritious foods within reach of more people, if food programs aren’t as deterred by the perceived high cost of eating better. “While healthier diets did cost more, the difference was smaller than many people might have expected. Over the course of a year, $1.50 [per] day more for eating a healthy diet would increase food costs for one person by about $550 per year. This would represent a real burden for some families, and we need policies to help offset these costs,” said senior study author Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor at HSPH and Harvard Medical School.
Ultimately, however, the researchers suggest that production systems that make healthy foods more economical to produce, and therefore are more in line with processed food prices, are necessary. That way, healthier foods may become more accessible, health care costs for chronic diseases related to poor diets may also start to drop.
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 Q : What can you do to reduce your risk?
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A : There are several things that you can do to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range
Get your blood pressure checked regularly.
Eat a healthy diet.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Be physically active.
Limit alcohol use.
Don’t smoke.
Prevent or treat diabetes.