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Nutrition and Portion Sizes
Nutrition and Portion Sizes

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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Lesson 4 - Decisions, Decisions: Diet and Exercise Regimens

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Limit alcohol consumption

No two ways about it — drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, whether consumed daily, or restricted to weekends. Furthermore, excessive alcohol intake can make it more difficult to achieve blood pressure control with your medications. Not only is alcohol high in calories, a contributing factor in a wide array of other health and emotional problems, it is a habit-forming substance, and you should limit your consumption. Guidelines suggest that for overall health, Americans should limit their intake of alcohol to no more than two drinks a day (most women should limit this to one drink per day). What constitutes a "drink"? 1.5 ounces of 80 proof alcohol, 1 ounce of 100 proof alcohol, 4 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.

Wine in the news
In the last couple of years, a number of reports have come out linking red wine with a reduction in ischemic stroke and deaths from heart attacks. The key to this is moderation — as studies also show that more than two drinks a day is associated with an increase in hemorrhagic stroke! Hence, although there is certainly evidence as to the positive effects of wine on your health, it is important to limit your overall intake to the guidelines given above. Again, if you have any questions, ask your doctor.


Stress can certainly raise your blood pressure for short intervals. It is even a possible precursor to hypertension. Like we said, a healthy life is a balanced life, and high stress levels are not conducive to balance. There are a number of ways to manage your stress. First of all, a healthy diet and exercise program will take you a long way. Alternative therapies, such as T'ai Chi (an ancient Chinese exercise involving slow, relaxing movements), yoga or transcendental meditation (otherwise known as TM, this involves silent repetition of a single sound) are also gaining credibility toward overall blood pressure management. Furthermore, both T'ai Chi and yoga are excellent forms of exercise! There are plenty of resources out there to help you learn more about these beneficial treatments. Aside from the Internet, check out a nearby bookstore, or your local recreation or adult education center.

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