Hypertension or high blood pressure is defined as follows:
- Normal blood pressure: < 120mmHg/80mmHg
- Pre-high blood pressure: 120-139mmHg/80-89mmHg
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159mmHg/90-99mmHg
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: > 160mmHg/>100mHg
Typically high blood pressure is diagnosed when an individual's blood pressure averages greater than 140/90. The goal of medical management is usually to maintain blood pressure lower than 140/90, although this goal can vary depending on other coinciding medical problems.
It is difficult to answer specifically how much diet effects blood pressure. Most studies have shown that strict control of diet with particular emphasis on decreasing salt (sodium) intake can reduce blood pressure by 1-10mmHg/1-10mmHg. It is plausible that eating bacon daily - which has high salt content - may increase your blood pressure slightly. But it is difficult to give a more specific answer.
If an individual has a high-salt diet and is able to make appropriate lifestyle modifications, his/her blood pressure may significantly improve. A commonly referred-to diet, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure, is the DASH diet. This is a diet that generally focuses on low-sodium foods, fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy products and healthy protein.
However, typically once an individual is diagnosed with high blood pressure, it is very difficult to correct this with diet and exercise alone, without medication.