Majority of American adults suffer from high blood pressure mainly because of the unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Healthy dietary changes can be very effective in overcoming hypertension.
Diet should be balanced and should contain all healthy nutritional components including whole grains, lean protein, legumes, whole fat dairy, fruits and vegetables.
There are foods that can prevent you from lowering blood pressure levels even if you are taking medicines. Salt and sodium intake are the enemies of blood pressure as it causes organ damage when water is retained in the body. So, what are those foods to avoid when you are hypertensive? Let us have a look.
There is no doubt that salt and sodium make blood pressure levels rise. Although the daily recommended salt intake limit is 2300 to 2500 mg but utnis usually restricted even further for hypertension patients to 1500 mg per day.
Packaged foods have high salt content which is why you should avoid them at all costs. Frozen pizzas, deli meats, canned juices, vegetable soups, and canned tomato products are top of the list in food items to avoid.
Deli meat is processed to a level that they are then preserved with salt. These have no nutrition left after the processes it goes through and therefore are best to avoid. Adding pickles, dressings, cheese, bread, and other foods to the sandwich will become an overload of salt.
The combination of ingredients added to pizzas exceeds the allowed sodium intake which is the reason to avoid such foods. Frozen pizzas contain even more of the processed meats and sauces which make them a sodium trap for people watching their sodium intake.
The thicker crust tends to have even more sodium and with other added toppings, it can become a booster for blood pressure.
Pickles are preserved with salt like any other preserved food. Salt has the properties to stop decaying of foods which is why it is used for preservation. The most innocent vegetables can fall prey to sodium when they are preserved with it as they will absorb more salt if they sit in it for longer.
Canned food items are easy to prepare and save time but they can be fatal for your health as those are processed and contain loads of sodium. A single serving of canned soup contains 900 mg sodium which makes only about half a cup.
If you eat whole of it, you will be consuming more than 2000 mg sodium from a single can of soup. However low sodium food options are available, it is always better to make it at home just to be safe.
Canned Tomato Products
So, you must be wondering why particularly is tomato dangerous for health if canned? Tomatoes are known to contain more sodium itself and canning them makes them even higher in sodium content. Fresh tomatoes and tomato puree can be the best option for high blood pressure patients.
Excessive sugar intake has never been good for health. It leads to weight gain and obesity causing even more problems such as diabetes. High sugar drinks and sodas have been linked to high blood pressure problems as the organs get damaged when there is more sugar in the blood stream.
Women should not exceed the limit of 6 teaspoons of sugar a day while men should restrict themselves to 9 teaspoons of sugar a day.
High blood pressure patients should avoid packaged foods as much as possible as they contain more sodium. Saturated fats and trans fats are also avoided to keep control of cholesterol levels.
It is advised to consume fatty meats and dairy products that contain natural fats. Try to include more nuts, seeds, olive oils, and avocado in your diet.
Alcohol is a no for high blood pressure patients as it spikes the blood pressure and can lead to long term problems. Alcohol is also fully packed with calories which can also cause weight gain.