10 worst foods for high blood pressure
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity or making any changes in diet, medication or lifestyle.
The extra work required to pump oxygen-rich blood through the body increases the possibility heart attack, stroke and other serious health problems.
Fortunately, research shows that a balanced diet can significantly lower blood pressure and, above all, reduce the risk of developing hypertension.
According to Hypertension Canada, sodium is the biggest culprit when it comes to unhealthy blood pressure. They recommend reducing sodium intake less than 2000 milligrams per day to reduce blood pressure.
While our minds may immediately think of eliminating table salt, the high sodium foods that are commonly eaten surpass the consumption of table salt at high speed.
Read on to find out the 10 worst foods for high blood pressure.
There’s a reason restaurant meals are so good: they are a lot of oil, sugar and especially salt.
It is true that most of the food in restaurants – especially fast food – not made to be healthy, but as tasty as possible.
Unfortunately, this reality makes restaurant food one of the biggest culprits in the development of hypertension. While ordering your favorite takeout sounds more appealing than cooking for yourself, limit your intake of these sodium-rich meals.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that processed food like chips, cookies, breakfast cereals and other packaged snacks are some of the worst culprits when it comes to high blood pressure.
Many of us were surprised when we read the nutrition labels of our favorite snacks to see multiple zeros next to the sodium, fat and sugar levels.
This is because highly processed foods are full additives to improve tastewhich is why they are so addictive.
Delicatessen like ham, bacon, salami, sausage and smoked salmon are some of the worst foods for high blood pressure.
This is because the drying process uses salt – and a lot of it. While drying preserves this food for a long time, it also means that it is very high in sodium.
People with hypertension should avoid packaged meat for lunch.
Not only is lunch meat highly processed, it also contains very high levels of sodium.
Although soups are often viewed as healthy, vegetable-rich options, they often contain some of the highest levels of sodium.
This is especially true for canned, processed soups and broths. Try to opt for low-sodium labels when choosing your favorite soups.
Although you might not think bread is salty, it is contains a lot of salt. This is especially the case with processed, prepackaged bread.
Checking the nutrition labels of packaged foods can go a long way in reducing sodium intake. Choosing high-fiber, whole-grain bread is always best over highly processed loaves.
While canned vegetables are great in moderation, they can also be high in salt.
Salt is added to preserve the flavor of canned food, which also means that this food is not ideal for hypertension.
Try to choose low-sodium or salt-free canned goods, and wash canned vegetables thoroughly after opening.
Although frozen meals are convenient for busy days, they are one of the worst foods for your blood pressure.
This is because they are often loaded with salt to enhance the taste. Even frozen meals advertised as healthy or low-calorie can be high in sodium, so make sure read your labels.
Although they are delicious additions to meals, consuming pickled foods greatly increases sodium intake.
Small amounts of condiments like ketchup, mustard and salad dressing may seem innocent, but high sodium levels pack a punch.
Choosing low-sodium spices and reducing your intake is one way to reduce your sodium intake, minimizing the strain on your kidneys and arteries.
The bottom line
While high sodium foods are only one part of developing high blood pressure, research shows that reducing the intake of foods high in salt can reduce hypertension.
If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about further dietary changes or medications you may need to improve your health.