20 foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure
2 of 21 Photos in Gallery Deli meat may be a practical lunch ingredient, but its high salt content (two slices of regular ham contain 730 mg of sodium) is bad news for your blood pressure. Did you know that sodium intake is directly related to high blood pressure? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), too much sodium in your diet can lead to elevated blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. The best way to decrease your blood pressure is to eat less salty foods.
20 foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure
If you have hypertension, you already know how important it is to steer clear of foods that are harmful to your cardiovascular health. In the following article, we present 20 of the most illicit dishes for heart-conscious eaters. Of course, this list is not exhaustive. If you have any questions about your diet or health, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or nutritionist.
Deli meat may be a practical lunch ingredient, but its high salt content (two slices of regular ham contain 730 mg of sodium) is bad news for your blood pressure. Did you know that sodium intake is directly related to high blood pressure? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), too much sodium in your diet can lead to elevated blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. The best way to decrease your blood pressure is to eat less salty foods.
Pickles are a tasty addition to any cheese platter, burger, or roast chicken dinner. However, these salty treats are off the menu if you have hypertension. As vegetables pickle, they absorb large quantities of salt from their brine. For a healthier alternative, try fresh cucumbers or other raw veggies.
Many people love the convenience of ready-to-eat soups. But if you’re watching your blood pressure, leave those cans on the shelf! They contain a significant amount of sodium, which elevates blood pressure. For example, just half a cup of canned chicken noodle soup contains 890 mg of sodium. Opt for low-sodium versions or, better yet, make your own soup at home. Just remember to leave the salt shaker in the pantry!
Store-bought pasta sauces
You might be surprised to learn that supermarket pasta sauces are genuine salt bombs. Half of the sauce brands tested by Consumer Reports had 400 mg of sodium or more per half-cup. If you have hypertension, choose low-sodium sauces or whip up your own salt-free version.
Many cheeses are off-limits for hypertensive individuals due to their high level of sodium. Some blacklisted varieties include American cheese, Parmesan, and blue cheese, which all contain over 300 mg of sodium per ounce. On the other hand, goat cheese, mozzarella, and brick cheese are delicious low-salt alternatives.
Fatty, salty, and high in cholesterol, bacon is a definite no-no if you’re watching your blood pressure. Even if you don’t have hypertension, you should limit your bacon consumption. Why? Studies have suggested that it can increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
Not only do drinks with added sugar contribute to weight gain, they also affect your blood pressure. According to one study, individuals who drink significant quantities of sugar-sweetened beverages are at higher risk of developing hypertension. Whether you’re hypertensive or not, water is still your best choice for staying hydrated!
Drinking a moderate amount of red wine has long been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. However, if you’re hypertensive, you should limit your wine consumption to one or two glasses a day. Drinking too much alcohol (four glasses or more per day) can raise your blood pressure.
While energy drinks are extremely popular among teens and young adults, the media has recently been exposing their nefarious side effects. In addition to causing headaches, anxiety, diarrhea, and dizziness, energy drinks have been shown to raise blood pressure. These health risks have been linked, among others, to their high concentrations of caffeine, which in some beverages even exceed the recommended daily dose.
If you’re taking blood pressure medication, your doctor probably told you to steer clear of grapefruit. This tropical fruit interacts with several medications and can have harmful side effects. Most other citrus fruits have no interactions with blood pressure medications. If you’re unsure about which to include in your diet, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
The next time you decide to dine out, avoid the French fries. Instead, order a salad with a light drizzle of vinaigrette or steam-cooked vegetables. Restaurant fries tend to be generously sprinkled with salt. High salt intake leads to fluid retention in the body, which can increase your blood pressure.
Love potatoes? Unfortunately, mashed isn’t much healthier than fried. One study showed that a higher intake of mashed potatoes or French fries was associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension—especially among individuals who ate four or more servings per week.
Unless instructed otherwise by their doctor, hypertensive individuals should closely monitor their coffee intake. One study found that coffee increases the risk of heart attacks in adults aged 18 to 45 with mild hypertension. Results showed that heavy coffee drinkers are up to four times more likely to have a cardiovascular event than the average individual.
If you have hypertension, you should dump your pizza delivery menus in the recycling bin! Many pizza toppings like tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni are rich in salt and saturated fat, which can elevate your blood pressure.
Don’t be fooled by its sweet taste! Ketchup is one of the saltiest condiments around. A single tablespoon contains 190 mg of sodium. Imagine how much salt you consume when you drench your fries in ketchup! Limit your intake and your blood pressure will thank you.
Are you a fan of grilled meats? You may want to rethink your cooking habits! Results from one study demonstrated that individuals who routinely eat grilled beef, chicken, or fish are more likely to develop hypertension. Researchers found that the chemicals produced by cooking meats at high temperatures lead to an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure.
Fried foods are off the table if you have blood pressure problems. In a recent study, researchers identified fried foods as a main contributor to hypertension. The food’s high fat and sodium content is especially harmful to cardiovascular health.
If you have hypertension, make sure to omit these salty and fatty meats from your grocery list. One study revealed that a single sausage sandwich contains nearly two-thirds of the recommended daily dose of sodium.
Hypertensive individuals should avoid bottled mineral water, especially if it contains over 200 mg of sodium per litre. Many brands have a high salt content, which can pose health risks. To find out if this type of drink is safe for you, speak with your doctor.
While homemade popcorn is a fun, heart-healthy snack, movie theatre popcorn is a whole other story. High in calories and sodium, this buttery treat should be avoided at all costs if you’re watching your blood pressure.