High blood pressure is a common problem and is a growing concern.
A lot of people across the globe have fallen prey to it. Even more alarming fact is that there is an expected rise in their number in coming years.
Now imagine if the world’s population is too much affected by high blood pressure, what a major setback to our developed healthcare it will be.
It is known that an age-related increase in BP is possible. Stiffening of arteries with age causes blood pressure to rise.
It is not surprising that lifestyle and eating habits affect blood pressure. High blood pressure being more prevalent in developing countries has a lot to say.
Busy life, oily and fast food, and lack of sleep are a few causes of hypertension.
This article focuses on eating habits. We will discuss the food items you need to avoid with high blood pressure.
List of foods to avoid with high blood Pressure
It is common in old age to develop the issue of high or low blood pressure levels. But today, even people of a young age are facing this medical issue.
Thus, taking care of your food habits is crucial during high BP.
Any wrong edible on your plate can increase your risk of heart attack, dementia, and many more health problems.
So, here is a list of foods you need to refrain from in case you have high blood pressure-
Salt is the most commonly used ingredient in foods. All types of cuisines make use of salt. It is a natural preservative and seasoning.
Even the minimalists use salt in food. But little is known that too much salt contributes to high blood pressure.
The main contributor is sodium present in salt. About 40% of the table salt you use is sodium.
Some amount of salt is required for healthy survival. It is a vital mineral. However, only 2.3 grams of salt per day is required by an individual. This is about one teaspoon.
It is even better to stick to lower doses of 1.5 g a day. People with high bp should consider 1-1.5 grams of salt daily.
The majority of people easily exceed the limit. While monitoring, you might just take into account the salt you add to food.
In such scenarios, you completely miss out the processed foods as a major source of salt.
With increasing processed and packaged food consumption, instances of overconsumption of salt are on rising.
Some common contributors that might be guilty of this are bread, pizzas, burritos, and tacos.
It might be shocking to find your favorite edibles on the list. But it is a bitter fact that they contribute to the overconsumption of salt.
It is better to consume only the required amounts of salt and one should try focusing on reducing the overall intake of dietary salt.
For doing so, some little steps like skipping sprinkling salt on salads and adding minimal amounts to food will help.
Moreover, stay away from processed and packaged foods as much as possible.
Pizzas are everyone’s absolute favorite. This Italian dish has a large fanbase. It is popular across the globe.
Traditionally it is a healthy and nutritious dish baked fresh. But with its growing popularity, several local variations were made.
One easy-to-go option that emerged was frozen pizzas. All the ingredients in frozen pizza combined are high in sugar and sodium.
These might be an unhealthy source of fat. The cheese used might be fairly high in sodium. Moreover, the dough is either too sugary or salty.
This is done for preservation purposes. Once cooked, more salt is added to maintain flavor.
One serving of pizza contains far more sodium than what the body requires.
It is better to eat fresh pizzas. You can try making them at home with homemade dough and veggies. Avoid high-sodium cheese.
One of the most common leisure drinks is alcohol. You can find it at parties, pubs, bars and even houses.
With the growing luxurious lifestyle, the use of alcohol is on the rise. But you might miss the fact that overconsumption of alcohol increases blood pressure.
A study has shown a relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure. The lower the consumption of alcohol, the lower the blood pressure.
Limiting the amount of alcohol in people with high blood pressure helps control their BP.
For people who do not have hypertension, limiting alcohol can then reduce the risk of hypertension.
Alcohol is also high in sugar and calories. It is also related to problems like obesity. These might further increase symptoms or chances of high blood pressure.
Alcohol inhibits the action of high BP medications. Therefore, it might increase the risk.
Lunch meat is known by several other names like cold cuts or sliced meat.
It is a pre-cooked version of meat generally used in sandwiches. It is kept sliced to be used. It can be either red or white meat.
It can also be processed or rarely unprocessed. Both lunch and deli meats are rich in sodium. Salt is added to cure and preserve them.
When these meats are stuffed in bread to prepare a sandwich, sodium levels are likely to add up. This is because bread too contains sodium.
Additionally, Lunch meats like salami, bologna, roast beef, turkey, sausages, bacon, pork, and ham are some of those meats that you could avoid.
Using fresh meats or avoiding meats like red meats will be a great choice for people suffering from high bp.
Pickles add variety and completeness to plates. The key process of pickles is bringing. For preservation, salt is added to pickles.
The longer they sit in bringing a solution, the more they absorb the sodium. As we discussed earlier, too much sodium worsen problem during high blood pressure.
Also keeping the large population of pickle lovers suffering from hypertension in mind, producers have emerged with something new.
Some pickles are now available which are low in sodium and high in potassium. If you cannot control your tingling taste buds, you can opt for these pickles instead.
Canned tomato products
Like pretty much everything on the list, canned options contribute to hypertension more than fresh products.
Your favorite tomato sauces like pizza sauce, pasta sauce, and even ketchup are not good for hypertension.
Canned tomato juice is also a big no. The reason is similar to the above-stated foods i.e. sodium.
Canned tomato products have too much sodium. For instance, the marinara sauce contains 556 mg and tomato juice have 615 mg of sodium.
If you want to avoid risk, choose farm-fresh tomatoes. Not only do they have a lesser risk of hypertension but several benefits.
Lycopene present in tomatoes is an excellent antioxidant. It will be good for your heart, unlike canned tomato edibles.
Full fat dairy
As we know, saturated fats might make your hypertension worse. One prime source of trans and saturated fats in full-fat dairy products.
These animal products obtained from dairy might increase blood pressure. Though, it is not compulsory as the results of some studies suggest otherwise.
In this study, it was found that full-fat dairy does not have much effect on BP.
But recent diets developed for controlling hypertension like the DASH diet emphasize controlling high-fat dairy.
It is believed that some full-fat dairy products like whole milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter increase the risk of hypertension.
It is better to opt for low-fat dairy. Some studies have even stated that they are good for the heart. They might help relieve high blood pressure.
We began the list on a salty note. The end has to be sweet. But it becomes bittersweet knowing that even sugar might worsen hypertension.
It might increase your BP in several ways. Sugar is correlated with an elevated risk of obesity. Sugar-sweetened drinks remain a prime factor in the obese population.
A study involving females with high BP stated that decreasing sugar by 2.3 teaspoons resulted in a significant drop in systolic and diastolic pressure.
Systolic blood pressure witnessed a drop of 8.4 Hg. On the other hand, diastolic blood pressure dropped by 3.7 Hg.
Healthy recommendations of sugar intake for men is around 9 tablespoons. For females, it is limited to 6 teaspoons.
High blood pressure is a common but alarming issue. It is a growing concern that is affecting one-quarter of the global population. This trend is on a rise.
No one is left out of its reach. From children to senior citizens, all are prone to hypertension. Lifestyle and diet are major factors contributing to the cause.
Although, it is not impossible to reduce the risk of hypertension. Several diet plans are being effectively researched to find a solution to the problem.
It is advised to consider your health expert to make necessary changes in your diet to maintain normal blood pressure.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.