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Avoid These Foods If You Have High Blood Pressure

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It is expected for blood pressure to rise and fall throughout our lives – although it should still be checked regularly. We need to monitor what we eat to make sure it remains low. For example, every meal we eat can contribute to hypertension in some way or another. This is when force is applied against the blood vessels’ walls and causing the heart to work harder than usual.

The effects can be deadly.

Even though exercising regularly can help us reduce this, we can also do our part by avoiding foods which are high in sugar or salt. Here are some of the foods to stay away from and improve your health as you get older.

Pot Pies

Before we get going, we’re going to spill a secret: sodium is bad for our blood pressure. Pot pies contain 1,400 mg of sodium and 35 grams of fat (and not the good kind!). These local snacks are incredibly unhealthy and should not be eaten unless for very rare or special occasions. If you want to lower the chance of high blood pressure, just avoid this meal. And that’s just the pastry – not even thinking about the rest of the ingredients inside the pie!

Cheese

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Everyone knows cheese is delicious. However, we must think of how much salt is in these little blocks of goodness. Cheddar cheese has 621 mg of sodium per gram, which is considered a lot but not nearly as bad as others. Gouda cheese has 819 mg of sodium per gram, and American cheese has 1,671 mg of sodium per gram. That’s a lot! Next time, make sure to cut down on the amount. It’s not bad if you cut it out completely, but this would be a sad day indeed.

Candy

An obvious one – we’ve known this since we were little kids! Your favorite sweets are full of sugar like high fructose corn syrup content, which could lead to weight gain, kidney disease, or accelerate diabetes. Ultimately, all of this can lead to high blood pressure in the end. Not to mention, candy also rots your teeth and gives you acne – just avoid the stuff! Next time you eat your favorite bag of skittles or chocolates, think of the longterm damage.

Soft Drinks

Similar to candy, drinking soft drinks is also a big problem. These sodas are highly addictive and leave you to wanting more and more. Soft drinks are full of sugar and can cause blood pressure spikes. According to The American Heart Association, it is not recommended to consume more than 355ml per week. If you must, keep it to the ‘diet’ versions which don’t contain sugar. They might not taste as nice but they could save your life.

Energy Drinks

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The major difference between energy drinks and your occasional soda is that these contain caffeine. Caffeine is known to cause a brief but intense increase in blood pressure, spiking your energy levels. Now, consider how these energy drinks that have sugar and caffeine together. Drinking caffeine-added drinks spikes the caffeine effec for around three to six hours, making it hard to sleep in the evenings. It’s better to have a cup of coffee if you can – and withhold the sugar!

Sauce

Hear us out on this one. Condiments like mayonnaise, gravy, ketchup, and salad dressing are high in sodium and raise your blood pressure. Consider the danger in hot sauce which has 2,643 mg of sodium her gram – even a few drops are deadly. Oyster sauce has 2,733 mg per gram, and even mustard has 1,100 mg of sodium per gram. If you can’t live without your spice, consider changing to chili flakes at your next meal, or none at all.

Pizza

We’re surprised we haven’t scared you away from this article yet! That’s right: everyone’s favorite meal is high in sodium and fat – hardly surprising when you consider its ingredients. Even a normal pizza is full of salty cheese, fatty bread, and sodium-ridden tomato puree. Usually, everything that’s bad for you is on a pizza – which is what makes it so delicious. We all deserve a cheat meal once in a while, but remember the damage this can do if you eat too much!

Red Meat

Of course, red meat is good for you in small doses due to the proteins it provides. However, be mindful that red meat contains high levels of saturated fat that could clog your arteries. If you don’t want to stop eating red meat, that’s fine – but be sure to limit it to once a week. Alternatives to red meat can include fish, chicken, or even tofu. We’re not saying you should go fully-blown vegan, but your arteries will thank you for it.

Processed Meat

This involves all your favorite meat: sausages, hot dogs, smoked meats, salamis, or anything that’s been processed. You might ask why: it’s our good old friend, sodium, of course! These particular dishes also have lots of saturated fats and preservatives to keep the products long lasting. None of this is good for you, so consider changing your diet to accommodate your veins. Eating might not be fun from now on, but at least you’ll be healthy and that has to count for something?  

Ramen Noodles

College kids everywhere will be disappointed to know that those instant noodles we all lived on contain deadly amounts of sodium. Ok, so maybe not deadly – but 1,580mg of sodium is enough to watch out for it. This is already more than the amount you should have in an entire day – so one meal will set your health back badly. It may be tempting to save a buck and indulge in these treats, but the health consequences can be tragic.

Alcohol

Are you so depressed by this list that you want to drink your troubles away? Well, not so fast! Alcohol intake can lead to incredibly high levels of blood pressure. This is due to vasodilation, meaning the vessels get tightened when alcohol is consumed. This makes the blood pump with more pressure in the arteries, leading to terrible results. What’s more, there’s also high amounts of sugar that can lead to weight gain and high blood pressure in its own right.

Bacon

We’re surprised you haven’t given up on us. We’ve already ruined candy, pizza, and alcohol – now here comes the big one: Bacon. Of course, bacon is delicious which means it must contain high levels of sodiums and fats. According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, consuming only three slices of bacon is the same as 576 mg of sodium. You might want to curb this breakfast habit which might be the brightest part of your day.

Pickles

Pickles are generally stored in jars with pickle juice. These juices are, naturally, made with salts meaning these yummy green sticks might do more damage than good. Since they’ve been sitting in the jar for weeks, maybe months, you can’t just rise these suckers dry – they’ve already absorbed enough salt to kill you. Next time, it’s best to eat your pickles unpickled – we call them cucumbers. The chances are you either love these pickles or hate them – if you hate them then you’re in the clear!

Coffee

Similar to the threat from energy drinks, coffee contains high levels of caffeine which can have bad effects on people with high blood pressure. Thankfully, it won’t have too much of a negative effect on people with low blood pressure, although you might get the shakes if you have too much at once. It’s better to limit your coffee (and caffeine) intake to just one or two in the morning and avoid it after lunch. Or, you can always go decaf!

Butter and Margarine

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I can’t believe it’s not good for you! You might love spreading these on your sandwiches, but they can have huge consequences on your blood pressure. Butter and margarine contain large amounts of fat that can clog your arteries, forcing your heart to pump faster. When more pressure is applied to your heart, it raises the risk of heart attacks and disease. Of course it’s delicious, but you might want to reduce your intake.

Premade Soup

If you’re going to enjoy a Campbell’s soup, you better make sure it’s in painting form only! These (and plenty of other brands) contain large amounts of, yeah you guessed it, sodium. Only one tin can have 800 mg of sodium – which is more than your recommended daily intake. They might appeal to the lazy chef who doesn’t want to cook one night, but these can have terrible effects on your body. It’s best to avoid them and stick to healthier, fresher, options.

Chinese Take Out

Yep, we get it. Sometimes it’s easy to roll out of bed with a hangover and tap your phone for some Chinese food. The truth is, it might be doing you more damage than you thought.  A normal box of noodles contains a minimum of 2,700 mg of sodium per serving – and we bet you eat the whole thing. It’s not just the noodles to stay away from either: their chicken with black bean sauce has 3,800 mg of sodium.

Popcorn

You might hear in some places that popcorn can be a relatively healthy snack. If you’re surprised to see it on this list, then you might not be thinking about all the added salt, sugar, butter, and cream dropped on top of each portion. If you want it to remain a healthy snack, avoid all the salt and any other delicious toppings you might enjoy. Even then, it still has a lot of carbs – so it might be better to stick with carrot sticks in the future.

Canned Beans

These snacks are full of sodium and preservatives – known to increase blood pressure. If you eat these at meals, be sure to wash them under water to remove some of the salts attached. Generally, it is better to avoid these dishes in their entirety. They can be bad for you long term and contribute to heart attacks in the future. That, and they can cause embarrassing gas, too! Next time, make sure to buy them fresh and enjoy the taste even more.

Fried Food

The Institute of Public and Preventive Health at Georgia Health Sciences University states that fried foods can contribute to raised blood pressure. Predictably, it’s caused by the increase in sodium and saturated fats absorbed by the yummy food. So you might want to think twice about eating fried foods, such as fried meats to fried doughnuts. You might not like the sound of this now, but your future self will thank you when you don’t contract diabetes at 50.

Whole Milk

Whole milk is usually reserved for cooking doughs and creams. Unfortunately, it carries a lot of saturated fats that aren’t good for us. It’s better to replace whole milk with skimmed or semi-skimmed, especially if you frequently consume the dairy product. You can also consider omitting it entirely, like drinking your tea or coffee black. If you’re like this writer who consumes dozens of cups of tea a day, then bypassing milf can be a great way to restrict the intake. But you might want to start with changing to skimmed!

French Fries

You can blame a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for ruining your love of fries. They found that frequent consumption led to high blood pressure due to the way they are cooked. It turns out, if you deep fry something multiple times, it won’t have a good effect on your health. This is mainly due to the fries absorbing all the fats in the oils. Yummy.

Sauerkraut

Yes, this type of vegetable might be one of your favorites, but that’s because of the relatively high amounts of sodium found in it. An average portion has 460 mg of sodium which is already a third of your recommended allowance. Sauerkraut is a popular addition to salads or hot dogs, but you might want to curb it next time you eat out. Try replacing it with cabbage or lettuce, two items far more healthy. It might not taste as nice, but your veins will thank you later on!

Pretzels

These popular bar snacks may look harmless but are unhealthy in a myriad of ways. First, they are made with white flour which turns from a carb to sugars when cooked. What’s more, pretzels are later deep fried, which absorb all the fats found in the oil. Then, they’re usually sprinkled with salt! This means that each portion contains an absurd amount of fats, carbs, salts, and sodium. Just 10 pretzels are more than your recommended daily intake.

Baked Goods

It’s a sad day when you must acknowledge that all your favorite baked goods are bad for you. It’s no surprise: they contain high amounts of carbs, sugars, fats, and white flours – all recipes for high blood pressure. Next time you have a breakfast croissant or eat your mother’s banana bread, consider the effect it will have on your health in the long run. We recommend sticking to a sandwich if you need bread in your diet – which this writer definitely does!

Refined Sugar

You might want to get used to avoiding sugar – it could save your life. Refined sugar causes high blood pressure, as well as weight gain, diabetes, and bad skin. It’s ok to have some sugar in your diet occasionally, but it can be deadly if consumed too frequently. It’s also incredibly addictive, so watch out next time you make a hot drink! Try replacing it with artificial sweetener, or have nothing at all. It might take a few days to get used to it but you’ll start feeling better almost immediately.

Canned Vegetables

These convenient snacks contain a lot more salt than you think. This is caused by the preservatives that are stored alongside your favorite carrot our corn that has been tinned up. The added salts are absorbed by the vegetable making them far less healthy than the fresh counterparts. For example, just one can of jalapeno peppers has a whopping 1,671 mg of sodium. You might want to think twice and stick with organic or fresh items bought from the store.

Chicken Skin

If you suffer from high blood pressure, you’re going to want to avoid chicken skin. It’s true: the taste and smell are amazing, but that’s because of the amounts of fats and salts caught in it! When preparing a chicken, use the skin to help absorb the unhealthy aspects of the meal – the tasty parts – and then eat the meat without the skin. It might not taste as nice, but you’ll benefit from the protein and an overall healthier lifestyle.

Doughnuts

Even though they’re tasty and look nice, this is a pastry treat you’re going to want to avoid. Each doughnut has at least 300 calories from the carbs alone! These carbs transform into sugar, and they also have trans fats, which can clog arteries and affect blood flow. These two ingredients alone raise blood pressure immensely – so it’s best just to avoid them! Sorry, Homer Simpson fans, you’re going to have to sit this snack out!

Frozen Meals

It’s so easy to pick up a quick frozen meal from our supermarkets and cook them in a matter of minutes. They’re cheap, convenient, but also deadly. Frozen meals – like pizza, pasta, rice, or nuggets – have large amounts of sodium and salt. If consumed regularly, you run the risk of raising your blood pressure. It’s generally better to avoid frozen foods entirely – why would you want to eat something made two years ago?

Table Salt

You might want to think twice next time you sprinkle some salt over your meal. Every day, the average American eats 3,400 milligrams of sodium. Amazingly, this is more than double the amount suggested in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This is because so much of our food already has salt and sodium engrained (no pun intended) into its ingredients. Make sure to curb the salt habit – trust us, you already have enough.

Peanut Butter

Finally, something on this list that the writer doesn’t eat! Peanut butter doesn’t contain much sodium but it is full of sugar and saturated fat, which can clog arteries and cause heart attacks. When arteries are clogged with fat, the heart becomes overworked and has to pump harder to circulate the blood around the body. Regardless of whether you eat crunchy or smooth, the chances are you’re doing damage either way. Best to stick with a sugar and fat-free option next time!

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