Blood pressure refers to the force of blood that pushes against blood vessels’ walls. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means that the arteries’ pressure is higher than the normal range. Although the condition often has no immediate symptoms, it can eventually lead to serious health problems, such as dementia or stroke.
Although medical interventions for hypertension have been available for many years, changing your diet can also have a significant impact your blood pressure. Sugary and salty foods and foods with high fat saturation can cause your blood pressure levels to increase. Therefore, it’s important to avoid such foods to keep your blood pressure in check. If you are suffering from hypertension, we recommend eating lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
It’s also advisable to avoid salt, red meat, and drinks and foods rich in added sugar. These kinds of foods can make your blood pressure levels rise. Furthermore, an increase in blood sugar levels can result in health problems such as stroke and heart disease. This article looks into the types of food you need to avoid or limit if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Foods to Avoid
Salt or Sodium
Studies show that salt, or rather the sodium that salt contains, is a major contributor to hypertension and heart disease. The reason behind this is that it affects the fluid balance in one’s blood. Table salt is composed of approximately 40% sodium. It is advisable not to consume more than 2,300mg of sodium daily – this is the same as one teaspoon. A lot of the sodium in unhealthy diets comes from packaged and processed food rather than the salt added while eating.
The ingredients in frozen pizzas indicate a high level of saturated sodium, fat, and sugar – it’s a combination of cured meats, tomato sauce, and sugary pizza dough. Manufacturers also occasionally add salt to cooked pizza so that it maintains its taste.
You can try to make healthful pizza while at home using low-sodium cheese and homemade dough and use vegetables as toppings.
Canned Tomato Products
Most of the tomato juices, pasta sauces, and tomato sauces are high in sodium. Therefore, this means they can raise your blood pressure. Always look for tomato products that have low sodium versions. To reduce your blood pressure, use fresh tomatoes that are rich in lycopene which is an antioxidant. Fresh vegetables work well for heart health.
Animal products such as chicken skin contain a lot of saturated fats. To maintain a healthy heart, you should reduce saturated fats, especially if you suffer from hypertension. The saturated fats in chicken lead to high levels of cholesterol which can lead to high blood pressure. One way to reduce the intake of saturated fats is to replace animal foods with plant-based healthy foods.
Healthy plant-based foods have healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Some of these foods are avocado, nuts, olive oil, and seeds.
Sugar levels have different ways of increasing blood pressure. Sugar, and especially sugar-flavored drinks, lead to weight gain among children and adults. Obese and overweight people have a higher chance of suffering from hypertension. It is recommended for females to take 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar, while for males, it is recommended they take 36 grams or 9 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Diet can significantly impact your blood pressure. Foods that are high in sugar, salt, and saturated fats can increase blood pressure, damaging your heart. When you avoid eating these foods, you are sure to keep your blood pressure in check.
If you incorporate vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and fruits into your diet, you will be on the right track towards keeping your heart healthy.