The Foods You Shouldn't Eat If You Have High Blood Pressure
Diets and lifestyle can have an impact on your blood pressure. If you’re looking to reduce yours, there are some foods you should avoid and others that may help.
Foods high in sodium: Canned soups, canned vegetables, frozen dinners, pizza, fast food and other processed foods
Sodium is a mineral that’s crucial to your body’s function. It helps you digest food, transmit nerve impulses and maintain fluid balance. However, too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and other health problems.
There are two types of salt: table salt and sea salt. Table salt tends to contain more sodium than sea salt because it has been processed in a way that allows manufacturers to increase the amount of sodium per serving size. Some foods have more naturally occurring sodium in them than others, such as fish like tuna or salmon; poultry; cheese; milk; yogurt; canned soups, canned vegetables and frozen dinners; pizza dough made with yeast (like those found at most grocery stores); fast food meals (burgers); crackers like Ritz Crackers® Original Snacks Crackers® Original Snacks) which are often sprinkled with enough artificial flavor enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) during production that they could be considered byproducts of the food industry itself rather than simple ingredients from nature.)
Foods full of saturated fats: Fatty meats, whole-fat dairy products and butter
Saturated fats are the worst for your heart. They raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower your HDL (good) cholesterol, both of which can cause plaque buildup in your arteries. Saturated fats are found in red meat, butter, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products.
Saturated fats can also raise blood pressure if you have high blood pressure.
Alcohol may be great for a night out with friends, but alcohol consumption can have negative effects on your health. Drinking can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease.
If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to avoid consuming alcohol in large quantities. Alcohol is a vasoconstrictor—it narrows the arteries and veins, which reduces circulation throughout the body while increasing heart rate. This means that when combined with other risk factors like obesity or smoking, drinking can lead to an increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). In addition:
- Dehydration can lead to headaches as well as fatigue;
- Sleep disturbances are common among individuals with high blood pressure who drink too much alcohol because they’ll wake up feeling dehydrated;
- Weight gain is also common among people who drink heavily due to their metabolism slowing down after consuming large amounts of calories from alcohol;
- Stress levels increase when consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages because it affects neurotransmitters such as adrenaline and dopamine which regulate moods;
- Depression may occur if an individual consumes excessive amounts of alcohol since this substance inhibits serotonin production in our bodies which leads us feeling sad after consuming certain types drinks containing sugar content.*Liver damage occurs over time when a person consumes more than two standard drinks per day.*
Foods high in added sugar: Sodas and other sugary drinks, candy, ice cream and desserts
Sugar may not be the cause of your high blood pressure, but it can make it worse. In fact, research has shown that people with high blood pressure have a greater risk of developing diabetes if they consume more than 10% of their total daily calories in the form of added sugars. Excessive sugar consumption can also lead to tooth decay and heart disease.
Highly processed foods: Cured meats like hot dogs, bacon and sausage; chips; crackers; energy bars; white rice and white bread
- Cured meats such as hot dogs, bacon and sausage
- Energy bars
- White rice and white bread
Incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet can help lower your blood pressure.
Fruits and vegetables are low in sodium, saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories. They’re high in potassium, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidants that help to lower blood pressure because they may decrease the stickiness of your blood cells. Fiber helps you feel full longer which can prevent overeating. Water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables also keep you hydrated which helps regulate blood volume to help lower your blood pressure.
It can be hard to know exactly where your blood pressure is heading, but if you pay attention to how your body feels and reacts to different foods, you may be able to catch an unhealthy trend before it becomes dangerous. If you’re concerned about high blood pressure or want more information on the topic, please contact our office today!