Question: What can I do to prevent myself from developing high blood pressure?

Answer: Well, we can all do a great deal to prevent high blood pressure. In fact, it's very clear from studies around the world that individuals and populations who follow healthy life style habits are at much lower risk of developing high blood pressure than those individuals and populations who have higher risk factors for high blood pressure.

What are those things you can do? First of all, maintain a healthy weight. Exercise on a regular basis. Eat a healthy diet that's full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy proteins, low in saturated fats -- the dairy fats, the beef and pork fats, and so forth. Eat a diet that's rich in the minerals and vitamins such as potassium, magnesium, calcium -- a well-rounded diet.

Avoid high stress and high strain situations in your life. If you're in them, identify some ways to build into your life stress management techniques. Get rid of the things that are causing the stress that you can get rid of. Implement a stress management program including exercise, meditation, prayer, listening to music, hitting punching bags -- whatever you find to be relaxing to you as part of a stress management program.

If you have a family history of high blood pressure, be particular wary of these things and be especially careful in your lifestyle habits.

So again, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, eat healthy, avoid high intakes of alcohol, high salt-containing foods like the high-processed foods and so forth, and try to avoid those stressful situations that can put you at risk for developing high blood pressure.