December 12, 2018

Foods to Avoid for High Blood Pressure

avoid these foods to decrease the risk of hypertension

There are so many different foods that you can have in your diet, and there are likewise so many differing opinions on whether certain foods are healthy or unhealthy. Take eggs, for example. How many times have the experts flipped back and forth on how good they are for you? I don’t even know what to believe anymore.

I came across an article today that talks about foods that you should avoid if you want to decrease your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension). For me, it is not an issue as I am actually on the opposite end of the scale with low blood pressure. But, as I like to keep informed on all health topics, and spread it to my readership, I thought I’d pass these findings along.

Avoid These Foods and Drinks for Hypertension

First of all, for some background, high blood pressure affects a decent percentage of the population. It is estimated nearly 32% percent of the adult population in the US, which accounts for around 75 million people, have this condition. It is one of the leading causes of death, as it contributes to heart disease and stroke by putting extra pressure on your blood vessels and vital organs. HBP can be brought upon by two factors – a poor diet and lack of exercise.

If you’re not getting enough exercise, I have plenty of resources on this site to help you get more active. But that’s not what this post is about. As for what to avoid in your diet if you don’t want to raise your chances of hypertension, stay away from the foods and drinks listed below.

Salt

This is one of the biggest culprits in increasing your chances of developing high blood pressure.

It is hard to stay away from as it has become such a staple in our diets. On that note, it is found in so many foods that we commonly eat. For instance, you may not think that bread could raise your blood pressure.

salt increases the risk of hypertension

However, salt is often used in the baking process as well as sprinkled on the top of finished loaves.

As a rule of thumb, try to stick to less than six grams of salt each day. This is about the size of a teaspoon. To keep track, always read the nutrition information on the foods you buy. Try to use it sparingly to season your food.

Breakfast Cereals

The main reason why the cereal you may enjoy for breakfast may lead to hypertension is also the reason why it tastes so good! The culprit is sugar. It is added to many kinds of cereal to sweeten the taste but does not provide any nutritional value. Aside from increasing the risk of getting hypertension, the added calories can lead to weight gain.

This, in turn, causes the heart to work harder to pump blood and can increase your blood pressure.

This isn’t to say to avoid breakfast cereal altogether, just make smart choices for the type that you eat.

Alcohol

It has been found that even consuming just one drink of alcohol can increase your chances of developing HBP, with consuming three or more drinks raising your levels even more.

Binge drinking over the long-term can have a great impact on your blood pressure and your health. 

how alcohol can raise blood pressure

Alcohol also contains calories that can contribute to weight gain which, as described above, also puts undue stress on your heart. Alcoholic drinks can also interfere with blood pressure medication, leading to adverse side effects.

Diets for Cardiovascular Health

Want foods that can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease? Check out this previous post about the Mediterranean Diet and cardiovascular health.

Foods to Avoid for High Blood Pressure
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T.J. LaPanta
About 

T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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