Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a very common condition. Most people with hypertension don't have any symptoms and have no idea they have it. It is for this reason that hypertension is often referred to as the "silent killer". The scary statistics are that by 2030, 41.4 % of all adults in the United States are expected to have hypertension.The risks of high blood pressure are cardiovascular disease like heart attack or stroke.

Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure

Hypertension can be avoided by making certain lifestyle changes. One of the most important lifestyle changes you can make is to modify your diet. What you eat can affect your body positively and may even reduce your high blood pressure. The main culprit to target is your salt (sodium) intake. A high salt intake is directly related to hypertension.There are some foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure:

1. Deli Meat

These processed meats, although convenient and very delicious, are full of salt and nitrites. When used in combination with bread and pickles to make your favorite sandwich, the salt content rises considerably. A high salt intake will lead to high blood pressure.

2. Chinese Takeaway

Soy sauce and teriyaki sauce are widely used in Chinese takeaway food. These sauces are very high in salt (sodium). Most stir-fries use high quantities of oil to give that delicious crunch and shine to your favorite vegetables.

3. Frozen Pizza

This frozen product is one of the foods to avoid with high blood pressure because it is laden with salt to preserve the taste of the ingredients on the pizza. The toppings, which are usually cheese, tomato sauce, cured meats, also add to the total salt level of that very convenient frozen meal.

4. Commercially Prepared Baked Products

The manufacturing process of baked food, such as donuts and croissants, requires high levels of salt, sugar and fats. Eating too many of this type of food will also increase your chances of obesity, further impacting your blood pressure.

5. Canned Products

The canning process requires high levels of salt for preserving the foods in the can. If you use this type of product in everyday cooking, you are adding more than the normal allowed levels of salt.

6. Red Meat

Eating lots of red meat will lead to a build-up of fatty plaque in your blood vessels, impacting both your heart and blood pressure. Red meat is usually accompanied by liberal sprinklings of salt to get the full flavor of the meat.

9. Pickled Products

Pickled products are one of the foods to avoid with high blood pressure. The pickling process makes use of copious amounts of sodium to get that crunchy and tasty bite.

7. Ramen Noodles

This old favorite of convenience food is drenched in sodium, especially that magic little packet of flavoring that accompanies your favorite flavor of ramen noodles.

8. Alcohol

Prolonged, raised alcohol levels in the bloodstream increase blood pressure and the "empty" (nutrient-deficient) calories can also lead to obesity.

10. Coffee

The regular intake of caffeine causes a spike in your blood pressure, which after a while remains high indefinitely. Caffeine can worsen your hypertension, if you have it already or predispose you to getting it.

Foods That Are Good for High Blood Pressure

After learning the foods to avoid with high blood pressure, you may be interested in foods that can lower your hypertension, decrease your weight and improve your overall health.

1. Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce and kale are high in potassium. Higher levels of potassium can offset the effects of high levels of sodium. Eat fresh or frozen leafy greens for the best potassium availability in your body.

2. Colorful Berries

Berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are high in antioxidants and flavonoids. It was found that these compounds found in the berries can reduce hypertension and plaque formation in the blood vessels. Frozen berries are just as effective as fresh berries, so keep a supply handy in your freezer to mix into your smoothies and desserts.

3. Potatoes

Potatoes are high in magnesium and potassium which both promote a healthy blood pressure. They are also high in fiber which can contribute to your overall health. Opt for a baked potato with healthy toppings rather than fries.

4. Beetroot

Beetroot can be eaten cooked or the juice consumed to lower your blood pressure. It is believed that the beet contains nitrates which lower your hypertension. Incorporate beets in your stews, roasts and stir-fries.

5. Skimmed Milk Products

Skimmed dairy products are better than the full-fat options because they still contain the calcium but at reduced fat levels. Lower fat levels promote a healthy blood pressure. Look out for products that are high in additives like sugar.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal has a high level of fiber but is low-fat and low in sodium. It can decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Add fresh fruit and honey to it to make it more palatable.

 More Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Apart from paying attention to the foods to avoid with high blood pressure, you can try other lifestyle changes to control your blood pressure.

  • Reach your ideal weight by dropping those extra kilograms. This in itself will improve your blood pressure. A 4.5 kg decrease in weight can significantly lower your blood pressure.
  • Regular exercise will help control your hypertension or lower it. It is believed that only 30 minutes of daily, moderate physical activity can drop your blood pressure. The best types of activities to engage in are: swimming, cycling, jogging or walking.
  • Decrease the salt in your diet. Remember to examine food labels to check the levels of sodium and lay off the salt shaker on your dining table.
  • Stick to moderate levels of alcohol. Find out what the safe levels are for you and stick to it.
  • Stop smoking to decrease your hypertension and improve your overall health.
  • Minimize your stress levels. Your body reacts to stress by increasing your blood pressure. Find ways to relax and breathe deeply. Expressing gratitude to others and for all that you have can also significantly reduce stress levels. 
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