Your diet is one of the major factors in helping normalize your blood pressure. If you are mindful about what you eat, complications with high blood pressure will be minimized. Foods high in saturated fats, sodium, and sugar can contribute to the spike in blood pressure.
If you have hypertension, eating meals rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is advisable. These types of food can help keep a healthy heart and normalize blood pressure. However, it is also important to avoid foods that can worsen hypertension. To help you become more mindful about what you consume, here are the list of foods to avoid:
1. Too Much Salt
Excess sodium in the body can elevate blood pressure. The extra amount of sodium will hold excess fluid inside the body. This is because your body wants to wash that salt away. However, it causes stress to the heart as it puts more pressure in the blood vessels. This can trigger an increase in blood pressure.
Because of this scenario, it is important to manage your intake of sodium. Read labels to know how much sodium your food contains. The ideal amount to consume is 2,300 mg per day. This is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt.
2. Deli Meat
This type of meat is those that are usually in sandwiches. Manufacturers slice and prepare them for light dining options. You can classify them as processed meats, formed or sectioned meats, or whole cuts. The meats are also popular as:
- Sliced meats
- Cold cuts
- Lunch meat
- Sandwich meat
The reason why these meats are high in sodium is because manufacturers preserve, season, and cure them with salt. A hot dog and two slices of bologna, for example, already contain 567 and 910 mg of sodium, respectively.
3. Frozen Pizza
Frozen pizza has a combination of ingredients high in sodium, saturated fat, and sugar. Cheese, for example, is extremely high in sodium. Two slices of American cheese provide 512 mg of sodium. The salty or sugary tomato sauce, cured meats, and pizza dough should also be considered. Manufacturers even add more salt to their pizza to keep its flavor.
When you cook frozen 12-inch pepperoni pizza, you will already get 3,140 mg of sodium. This is above the ideal amount of sodium consumption, which is 2,300 mg.
Aside from the fact that sodium is high in frozen pizza, sugar is also another factor for developing hypertension. When you consume foods high in sugar, it significantly contributes to weight gain. As your weight increases, so is your blood pressure.
Pickling is the process of extending a food’s shelf-life. It requires immersion in vinegar or anaerobic fermentation in brine. Either way, it deals with preserving food that also means needing salt. Using salt makes the food edible longer and stops it from decaying. What this also means is the longer you preserve the vegetables, the more sodium they will absorb.
5. Canned Soups
Canned soups are easy to make, especially when you don’t have much time to prepare. However, they are not an exception if you have hypertension because they contain high amounts of sodium. Eating them can raise your blood pressure.
A can of vegetable chicken soup, for example, has 2,140 mg of sodium. Also, one can of tomato soup will give you 1,110 mg of sodium. Instead of consuming canned soups, try making your own. You can substitute salt with spices or herbs to add more flavor.
6. Canned Tomato Products
Many canned tomato juices, pasta sauces, and tomato sauces are high in sodium. These are additional items you need to remove from your recipes. A cup of tomato juice will already give you 615 mg of sodium. A 135-g serving of marinara sauce contains 566 mg of sodium.
Instead of using canned tomato products, choose fresh tomatoes. The fruit is rich in antioxidants that are good for your heart and overall health. You can make a healthy version of fresh juice from it.
7. Processed Foods High in Saturated or Trans Fats
These types of fats can elevate your bad cholesterol levels and lower the good ones. What this means is it can trigger hypertension. Trans fats, for example, can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Chicken skin, red meat, butter, and full-fat cream or milk all contain saturated fats.
Instead of going for these foods, you can replace them with plant-based ones. Plant-based foods rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are:
- Olive oil
The fats found in these foods are the healthier ones. They are both good for your heart. Polyunsaturated fat, for example, can lower bad cholesterol that reduces your risk of developing hypertension and heart disease.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can also trigger hypertension. Drinking large amounts in one sitting can cause a temporary increase in your blood pressure. However, repeated binge drinking can result in a long-term increase.
Aside from that, it is also high in sugar that can contribute to developing hypertension. Repeated binge drinking, for example, can cause you to gain an unhealthy weight. What this means is an increase in blood pressure as you gain weight.
What Type of Diet Should Be Ideal for Hypertension?
A heart-friendly diet is ideal for hypertension as it can help normalize blood pressure. Foods rich in potassium should be included in your diet. Potassium provides the opposite of what sodium does to your blood pressure. Examples of potassium-rich foods are:
- Leafy greens
- Cooked broccoli
It is also helpful to consume foods rich in nitrates as it helps lower blood pressure. Foods rich in it are typically green leafy vegetables like:
- Chinese cabbage
One Important Reminder
Despite being mindful in what you eat, it is always best to do self-monitoring for your blood pressure. You can do this through the use of a high blood pressure monitor. However, with the many machines available on the market, it can be a bit tricky choosing the best one for your needs.
To help you out, look for reliable brands like Raycome. They produce high-quality blood pressure monitors that provide accurate measurements. They design their products using smart technologies that promise optimum performance. Better still, you can easily visit Raycome health care from the comfort of your home to learn more about their product offers and place your order in the process.
Avoiding foods that increase blood pressure is as equally important as following a heart-healthy diet. This can help you in keeping your blood pressure at a normal level. However, as you watch your diet, it is also important that you monitor your blood pressure regularly, so you know when to alert your doctor. This will also help you avoid frequent trips to the emergency room.