According to AHA, more than 100 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure. The death rate due to high blood pressure has increased by almost 11% in the last three years. And why not? Are we really living a healthy lifestyle? Do we get enough exercise and follow a healthy diet? If not genetic, high blood pressure can occur due to poor lifestyle, including diet and exercise. The thing about high blood pressure is it doesn't affect only physical health but also mental peace. Therefore, it's time to take this problem seriously. Get enough exercise, and have a healthy diet. Speaking of diet, you may get all sorts of advice from different people on what to eat. Take a look at the foods to AVOID, with high blood pressure.
But before we begin...
Let’s understand the impact of hypertension or high blood pressure on your health.
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Why High Blood Pressure Is Dangerous?
High blood pressure puts a trivial to deadly stress on your heart and arteries. You may not feel any difference in the beginning. However, the added stress is quite enough to get you a fatal heart attack or a stroke. An unhealthy lifestyle can raise your health risk almost tenfold.
Normally, arteries carry the blood from your heart to the rest of your body. They have a smooth inner lining which gets damaged due to the high blood pressure. It can even cause tears in the lining, thereby blocking the arteries.
Irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and heart attack are some of the most common consequences of high blood pressure. Your heart has to work harder than usual to push the blood through the torn-up linings of the arteries. Finally, the heart loses its strength.
Now that we know why blood pressure is dangerous? Let’s take a look at the foods that can increase your chances of a heart attack. Keep a check on these foods, and you will be on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Let’s begin.
List of foods to avoid with high blood pressure
The following foods and beverages prevent you from lowering your blood pressure. Thus, it is better to scrap them out from your grocery list. It can be hard to avoid some of the foods mentioned here since they are so commonly used in our daily diets. But you can always try.
1. Deli Meat
Processed lunch meats are undoubtedly delicious and harmful for people with high blood pressure. They are like mini sodium chloride bombs. These processed foods are seasoned and preserved with salt for a long time.
Lunch meats of almost 2 ounces usually have 500mg of salt or even more. You may add up more concentration of salt if you add pickles, cheese, bread and condiments to the diet. It is almost like a deadly sodium trap. No matter how tempted you are to relish the meat, show some pity on your inferior arteries.
For normal people, a small amount of salt may not do much harm. But, the same amount can prove fatal for patients with high blood pressure. You can try out reduced-sodium instead of the salt. You may find it hard to adjust to the low sodium diet in the beginning. Once you get familiar, things will become easier.
As per the Mayo Clinic, an average person consumes almost 3,400 mg of salt per day. However, you are just supposed to take 1500 mg of salt to keep the high blood pressure in check. Stay away from processed foods and try not to add salt to your food at the restaurants.
3. Frozen Pizza
Frozen or not, pizzas are not really good for anyone. It may offend a lot of people, but that doesn’t change the truth. Pizzas consist of cheese, cured meats, crust and lots of tomato sauce. All these things add a surplus amount of salt to your diet. Thus, it is pretty dangerous for people with high blood pressure.
Often chefs tend to add a lot of salt in the pizza to maintain the flavor for a longer time. This can also take a toll on your heart and brain. Frozen meats, cheese, and pizza can contain above 700 mg of salt and even more. Next time make sure you order a pizza with a thinner crust and no toppings. Is that even a pizza? No. Hence, stick to home-cooked foods only.
4. Canned or bottled products
You may find a slew of canned products throughout the world that has made our daily lives 10X easier. Tomato products are specifically more problematic for people with high blood pressure. In fact, stay away from canned pasta sauces, tomato sauces, and tomato juices since they also contain an abnormal amount of salt in them.
Apart from the canned sauce, you must also refrain yourself from canned soups. A half-cup of canned soup already contains more than 900 mg of sodium in it. Taking the entire can indicates more than 2000 mg of salt in your body. Make your own sauce or soup and avoid the canned products to stay healthy.
Excessive intake of sugar is related to the amount of weight you gain and obesity. You may not know, but high sugar intake is also linked to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is most commonly seen in obese people. And what causes obesity? Abnormal intake of sugar. Therefore, it is quite a safer option to keep a check on your sugar intake to control your high blood pressure as well.
According to the American Heart Association, men are supposed to have less than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams per day. Women should have less than 6 teaspoons per day. You must also avoid sugar-sweetened drinks.
It’s not easy to live a life with so many restrictions. But, with a few smart eating strategies, you can always keep the disease under control. Pick alternatives such as trans-fat-free or no-sodium options. Your plate will also look good with vegetables and fruits on it. So go ahead! Have a healthy life.