Living with high blood pressure (hypertension) can be a hassle to deal with. A major contributor to our blood pressure is diet. Once we become accustomed to a certain diet, we find it hard to adjust. However, we eventually need to swap out the food that increases blood pressure, as over time, high blood pressure causes blood vessels to become stiff and inflexible. This leads to other potential problems down the line—such as cardiovascular disease and stroke—which may have fatal consequences.
There are certain foods you should avoid if you have high blood pressure that will be detailed in this article. Along with exercise, prescribed medication, and your doctor’s assistance, managing high blood pressure can be effortless.
Americans love their sandwiches: Forty-nine percent of U.S. adults eat at least one sandwich a day, accounting for one-fifth of our total daily sodium consumption, according to a recent study by the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
The American Heart Association includes breads (including bagels and rolls), cured meats and cold cuts, and sandwiches (including wraps and tortillas) among its “Salty Six” foods to avoid. While processed meats such as salamis get the bad rap because of the high sodium, nitrates, phosphorus and other preservatives used in the curing process, poultry products should get just as much attention.
“People should be careful of rotisserie products, which are very high in sodium,” says Dr. Lawrence J. Appel, director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins University. Many poultry products, including some uncooked poultry, are treated with a sodium solution for tenderization and to increase shelf life.
Use condiments such as olives, pickles, salad dressing, ketchup and mustard sparingly. “People often forget to add the sodium content of these types of foods since they are ‘add-ons’ to a meal, but the sodium content adds up quickly,” says Smithson.
2.Frozen Fish and Seafood
Think that frozen fresh fish or seafood is the way to go if you can’t buy fresh? Think again. “Many times frozen fish and seafood is ingested with a sodium solution at the catch point,” says Appel. “The rules and regulations for fish and seafood differ from other products so you don’t always know what’s in these food products.”
Fresh shrimp naturally contains 224 mg of sodium per 100 g serving, according to the USDA’s Nutrient Database. Frozen shrimp treated with a sodium solution to retain moisture upon thawing could contain as much as 566 mg of sodium per 100 g serving.
3.Canned or Bottled Tomato Products
Tomato sauces, pastes and ketchups are often loaded with salt. Create your own products with fresh or rinsed, canned tomatoes for ingredient and salt control.
Doughnuts, cakes and cookies are loaded with sugar along with fat. The combination may contribute to weight gain in excessive amounts. Reduce the consumption of these products and keep portion and serving sizes in check.
When eating out, ask for no or less gravy with your economy rice. Also, have less soups, dipping sauces and creamy salad dressings.
Avoid canned foods and soups as they tend to contain lots of sodium. Canned beans for example, can contain as much as 500 mg of sodium per serving. However, there are some canned foods with lower sodium content. Look out for foods that come with the healthier choice logo.
Frozen peas and pasteurized milk are fine, but potato chips, processed meats (bacon, ham, luncheon meat) and frozen dinners are all too high in sodium.
Too much alcohol will raise your blood pressure. HPB recommends that women should have a maximum of two standard drinks per day. Men can have up to three drinks per day. A standard drink refers to 2/3 of a small can of regular beer (220 ml), a small glass of wine (100 ml) or one nip of spirit (30 ml).