One of hypertension’s best friends is a bad food diet. There are certain foods and drink that directly contribute to a higher blood pressure, and which should be avoided in order for your dietary changes to be truly efficient.
1. Canned soup
Canned soup will always be a favorite when you’re on the run and have to prep up something tasty. But canned soup is not the equivalent of health, because it contains high levels of sodium, which is the enemy of your blood pressure. A single serving of canned soup can contain about 900 mg of sodium, which leads up to a total of over 2,000 mg per can. The best alternative is to make your own soup, or look for products that are low in sodium.
Coffee can be really bad for blood pressure if you are not a regular coffee drinker. Coffee and caffeine-based products can elevate your pressure with up to 10 mm Hg, causing your heart to beat faster and raising your blood pressure.
This category includes sugar and products that are rich in this ingredient, such as candy or sugar drinks. A large intake of sugar leads people to put on a few extra pounds, and obesity is one of the major factors linked to an elevated blood pressure.
For instance, a can of soft drinks that has about 12 ounces of fluid contains about nine teaspoons of sugar. On average, adult women shouldn’t consume more than six teaspoons of sugar per day, while the recommended limit for men is nine teaspoons.
Sauces are typically rich in both sugar and salt, and can be a real threat to blood pressure. Avoiding sauces is essential, especially since there are many alternatives that you can make at home. Ketchup, for example, contains a lot of sodium and sugar.
5. Canned beans
In order to make them last longer, canned beans have a very large quantity of salt added to their composition. This prolongs the lifespan of the product, but puts your blood pressure at risk at the same time.
Some people like to buy canned beans and then rinse them by holding them under running water, in a colander. This helps wash away some of the salt, but not all of it.
Interesting fact: drinking a low quantity of alcohol can actually lower one’s blood pressure, but everything above the recommended dosage is bad for your health in so many ways. A large alcohol intake can cause blood pressure spikes, especially if this becomes a habit.
Not only does alcohol impact blood pressure directly, but it can also make hypertension medication less efficient, which causes high blood pressure to appear as a result of inefficient treatment. Even more, alcohol can have a lot of calories, especially liquors that are made with a lot of sugar.
7. Trans and saturated fats
Foods like butter, red meat, some dairy or chicken skin are super-rich in trans and saturated fats. Trans fats are normally found in dairy products and meats rich in fat. However, the most threatening products in terms of trans fats are prepared and packaged foods. Aside from trans fats, such foods are also rich in sugar.
Both trans and saturated fats can force the body to increase its levels of bad cholesterol. In turn, this leads to elevated blood pressure, but also to other medical complications, such as coronary heart disease.
Cheese is, by default, a very salty product. While it may be delicious, it can also elevate blood pressure because it gives the body a sodium intake which can exceed the recommended daily dose. For example, even a small serving of 28 grams of Roquefort cheese will provide with you with 28 percent of the recommended sodium intake per day. Grilled cheese is a much better solution.
9. Bottled or canned tomato goods
Tomato juices and sauces should be treated like every other sauce, because it’s made with a lot of salt. Marinara sauce, which is made from tomato juice, contains about 400 mg of sodium in just half a cup.
The market offers variations of these products which have a much lower quantity of sodium, but for the best health results, consider making your own tomato sauce from freshly bought tomatoes.
Pickles and pickled goods are made through a food processing method called preservation. In order for these foods to last longer, they have large quantities of salt added to the recipe. Cucumbers are vegetables that absorb a lot of salt, so the more a pickle stays in a jar, the more harmful it becomes to your blood pressure level.
11. Frozen pizza
In general, pizza is considered junk food. It contains a combination of tomato sauce, meats, and dairy products with have a lot of salt in them. Frozen pizza is even more threatening, as producers adds a lot of salt to keep the product fresh for longer. When a pizza has a lot of different topics (and is especially rich in cheese and meat combinations), it’s definitely a lot richer in salt, and therefore more harmful.
The trick is to swap unhealthy food and drink with healthier versions that provide the same kind of satisfaction. For instance, a common swap is trading store-purchased soda with freshly-squeezed fruit. Smoothies are easier to make at home, healthier, but be aware that drinking too many will cause a caloric intake rise.