What you eat can have huge effects on your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains for people with high blood pressure. High blood pressure left untreated can cause severe damage to the kidneys, the heart, and the walls of the arteries, which can put you at greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, doesn’t happen overnight. High blood pressure can develop over the years, progressing without any noticeable symptoms. Other factors can put you at increased risk of developing hypertension, such as age, race, genetics, and environmental conditions. Still, poor daily choices and habits can increase the likelihood of you developing this condition. If you have high blood pressure, avoiding the foods on this list will help lower it.
Making small changes to your diet each day can lead you to better health. What are the foods to be avoided when treating high blood pressure?
Here are 11 Foods to avoid:
1. Soy Sauce
A tablespoon of the saltiest soy sauce contains nearly 90 percent of your recommended daily salt intake, whereas the lowest salt soy sauce had less than half of that. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure. Look for sauces with a reduced salt label. Tamari and oyster sauces tend to have less salt, so try them next time and make sure to include lots of fresh veggies for a healthy and colorful dish.
According to population and clinical studies, alcohol is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure. Drinking four pints of beer or an equivalent level can increase blood pressure, especially in patients with hypertension. Patients with hypertension should avoid alcohol. Alcohol can damage the walls of blood vessels, which can further elevate the blood pressure and make it more challenging to treat. It will also increase the risk of other complications. Limit alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for most men and one drink per day for women.
Coffee, tea, and energy drinks often come with caffeine, which can cause your blood pressure to rise. For people with healthy blood pressure, caffeine isn’t an issue, but if you have hypertension, it’s recommended that you limit your caffeine intake and choose decaf or half-caff coffee or caffeine-free teas instead.
4. Deli meat
Sodium is commonly found in processed deli and lunch meats. This is because salt is used to cure, season, and preserve these foods. Just two slices of bologna contain 910 mg of salt, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database. A frankfurter, often known as a hot dog, has 567 mg of sodium. If you eat so much processed food, you will increase your blood pressure more.
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5. Frozen pizza
The ingredients used to make frozen pizzas are rich in sugar, saturated fat, and salt. Frozen pizzas typically have a high salt content. For example, cheese is rich in sodium. Only two slices of American cheese have 512 mg sodium. And cheese is usually used with pizza dough and crust, salty meat, and tomato sauce, whether salty or sweet.
Pizza manufacturers typically add much salt to keep the flavor of the pizza after it is cooked.
One frozen 12 inch pepperoni pizza has 3,140 mg of sodium, which is considerably above the daily limit of 2,300 mg.
Avoid frozen pizzas. You can make a healthy pizza at home with homemade pasta sauce, low-sodium cheese, and your favorite veggies.
Salt is required for the preservation of all foods. It delays the deterioration of food and maintains it for an extended period.
Vegetables absorb more salt the longer they remain in canning and preserving solutions. Four hundred and forty-seven milligrams of sodium are included in one tiny pickled cucumber. Nonetheless, sodium-reduced alternatives are available.
7. Canned soups
Americans love canned soups because they are quick and convenient to cook. However, canned soups contain a significant salt content.
The same can be said of canned and bottled broths. These will cause an increase in blood pressure. A can of tomato soup, for instance, has 1,110 milligrams of sodium, and a can of chicken and vegetable soup contains 2,140 milligrams.
Try to use low- or reduced-sodium soups. As always the best option is to create your soup from fresh ingredients.
8. Canned tomato products
The majority of canned tomato sauces, pasta sauces, and tomato liquids contain a high salt content. They can drastically increase your blood pressure, much more so if you already have high blood pressure. The marinara sauce contains 566 mg of salt per serving (135 g).
Choose low sodium alternatives or fresh tomatoes to help reduce your blood pressure. Fresh tomatoes are high in an antioxidant called lycopene. Fresh fruits and veggies provide a plethora of heart-healthy advantages that will even lower your blood pressure.
9. Processed foods with trans or saturated fat
Saturated fats harden the arteries, making the inside of the arteries smaller. An increase in blood volume going through narrowed arteries can cause the heart to pump harder to force the blood through, increasing blood pressure.
You can reduce your saturated fat intake by replacing some meat with healthy plant-based alternatives like nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado.
10. Whole milk dairy products.
Cheeses, whole milk, and products made from these foods are usually high in saturated fat. If you want to keep your blood cholesterol levels healthy, limit the amount of these foods you eat. When you drink low-fat milk, you will lower your blood pressure.
11. Fried foods
When you fry your food, you are adding a lot of saturated fat and salt. Both of these will increase your high blood pressure. Grilling, baking, and sautéing are all good and healthy alternatives to frying.
- Also, remember to always check for high fructose corn syrup in whatever snack or food you intend to eat.
Too much sodium, as in the typical American diet, is weak on potassium-rich foods. Limit high-fat foods to lower your risk of developing other forms of cardiovascular disease. Exercising strengthens the body’s blood vessels in contracting and expanding and strengthens the heart muscle.