Keeping your blood pressure in check can be difficult, but it is necessary since high blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke as well as an important risk factor for heart disease.
Making some changes to your diet is a good way to help lower your blood pressure. If you are feeling concerned about the health of your heart and cardiovascular system, you should try to avoid those 15 foods that cause high blood pressure.
Consuming too much table salt is known to increase blood pressure. Even though your body needs a small amount of sodium to help control your blood pressure, it’s best to not add too much salt to your meals, and to avoid foods that contain a lot of it.
Sugar is one of the worst foods that cause high blood pressure. You should also try to reduce the amount of sugar you are consuming, or to simply eliminate sugar from your diet. Eating foods that are too rich in sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can cause high blood pressure.
3. Red meats
Red meats are high in fat, and consuming too much fat can cause damage to your blood vessels and your heart. If you are eating red meats every day of the week, try to at least skip a few days, and to reduce the portions you are putting on your plate.
4. Processed meats
Processed meats, which are high in sodium and also contain a lot of fat, should be avoided if you are concerned about high blood pressure. If you love eating processed meats, look for alternatives that are lean and low in sodium, such as sliced turkey breasts.
It should come as no surprise that bacon can cause high blood pressure as well. Each slice of bacon contains a lot of fat and sodium, so if you just don’t want to stop eating bacon, choose turkey bacon as a less fatty and salty alternative to pork bacon.
Pickles are another example of foods that cause high blood pressure since they are loaded with sodium. Just one medium sized pickle contains almost half of the daily sodium limit, so if you enjoy pickles, keep that in mind the next time you are thinking about eating a few of them.
7. Ramen noodles
Those small packages of ramen noodles may be convenient and delicious, but the noodles and their flavour packets are full of sodium and fat. A healthier alternative would be to cook udon or soba noodles in chicken stock with a low sodium content.
8. Frozen meals
Frozen meals are also a very convenient meal option, but they contain a lot of salt and preservatives which can cause high blood pressure. If you enjoy the convenience of frozen meals, why not cook your own meals, and freeze small portions of them?
Even though some healthier versions do exist, pizza in general can be bad for your blood pressure. Be sure to buy pizza with a low fat and sodium content, or to prepare your own pizza at home and to be careful of what you use for the toppings.
10. Canned tomato juice and sauce
The problem with canned tomato juice and tomato sauce is that they are loaded with sodium, which makes them unhealthy. If you love cooking things from scratch, why not make your own juice or sauce using fresh tomatoes instead? It will taste different, but will be better for your health.
Donuts, as well as pastries, cookies and cakes, are all foods that cause high blood pressure. Those delicious treats are filled with sugar, fat, and calories. If you have a sweet tooth, look for healthier dessert alternatives, or prepare your own baked goods at home.
12. Energy drinks
There are also many drinks that can cause high blood pressure. Energy drinks, because of the caffeine they contain, provide a blood pressure rise that is temporary, but still has negative effects on your health. Don’t consume energy drinks too often, or avoid them completely.
13. Whole milk
The saturated fats contained in whole milk can cause high blood pressure and should be avoided. Instead of choosing milk with 3.5% milk fat, go for 2% milk fat, 1% milk fat, or skim milk, which still contains all the nutrients present in whole milk.
14. Soft drinks
Drinking too many soft drinks can lead to blood pressure problems, while also being responsible for gum disease and cavities. Soft drinks may also cause acne, weight gain, and other health risks. A healthier alternative would be to add some lemon juice to a glass of carbonated water.
Finally, drinking too much alcohol is known to raise blood pressure, and it can also cause damage to blood vessels. Ideally, women should not consume more than one alcoholic drink each day, while men should not consume more than two drinks each day.