High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the primary reasons for heart disease and stroke. Many people all around the world are diagnosed with hypertension, but most of them do not know the cause of it. High blood pressure may occur for a variety of reasons like age, genetics, lifestyle, and food choices. In some people, high blood pressure does not show any particular symptoms.
Most of the time, high blood pressure is caused by diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. But high blood pressure is not that hard to manage or prevent.
Avoid Sugar and Salt
Over salt or sodium and sugar consumption can cause high blood pressure in healthy individuals. But that does not mean you should never eat anything with salt and sugar ever again. There is a healthy medium for both of these food taste enhancers.
The recommended intake for sodium is around 2300 milligrams per day. People with high blood pressure should be careful with this number.
On the other hand, the recommended level of sugar is different in males and females. The American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of sugar no higher than 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women. Everyone should avoid added sugar and get sugar from fruit sources.
Food With High Sodium
1. Canned Beans
Canned Beans usually contain a lot of sodium. High sodium is used to extend the shelf life of these beans. Rather than cooking canned beans, you should buy dry beans and soak them before cooking. Bean contains a lot of protein, fiber, and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These unsalted beans will help you to reduce your blood pressure. If you have no other option than using a canned bean, reduce the sodium by rinsing them in the colander.
2. Premade Soups
Premade soups are different than most other products. The amount of sodium differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some premade soups are very high in sodium. Try to avoid them entirely, if possible. The best option is to make your own soup at home with healthy ingredients.
3. Cooked Tomato Products
Cooked tomato products like sauce and ketchup contain a significantly high amount of sodium. Normally the tomato contains a lot of potassium and magnesium. But the sodium level changes once the tomato gets more processed. If you have high blood pressure, avoid these processed tomato products. Tomato products are pretty natural to make in-home, and they will be way healthier than the highly processed cooked tomato products.
4. Packaged and Processed Meats
Usually, red meat is considered one of the reasons behind blood pressure. But packaged and processed meat are a little bit unhealthier. Packaged meat products like hot dogs, bacon, and sausage use a lot of sodium to preserve these products. Even processed white meat contains more sodium than fresh white meat. If possible, avoid red meat and all processed meat. Buy meat directly from your butcher.
5. Frozen Meals
Frozen meals are usually precooked and made with a long shelf life in mind. As you already know, a high level of sodium is used to preserve any food for an extended period. High sodium is also used to retain some taste in the food. If you are going with frozen meals, look for a product that has low sodium in it.
Food With High Sugar
Most of us cannot control our cravings when it comes to candy. Almost every candy is packed with a lot of sugar. Most of them are not appropriate for people with hypertension. The high sugar content can cause a lot of other health problems like high LDL levels and arthritis. You should control your sweet craving and replace them with various fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
2. Soft Drinks
Soft drinks contain a lot of calories, thanks to its high sugar content. Some soft drinks contain more sugar than the recommended level of sugar per day. If you are at risk for high blood pressure, you might drink freshly squeezed fruit juice instead of soft drinks. If you are a fan of caffeinated sports drinks, try to supplement your caffeine addiction with regular tea or coffee.
Pastries without added sugar are hard to find. Most of the pastries are made in the combination of flour, eggs, and added sugar. So all cakes contain a high level of sugar and fat. High level of sugar and fat is some of the reasons for hypertension. If you want to eat any pastry, just take a smaller portion than usual or divide it and save it for later.
Bottled sauces are one of the worst offenders when it comes to containing sugar. Most sauces, dressings, and condiments are full of sodium and sugar content. Both of them can cause hypertension in most people. If you want your sauce to be healthier, make it yourself with fresh herbs, garlic, and other healthy ingredients.
Alcohol can cause a long list of health problems like obesity, heart disease, liver damage, and many more, aside from hypertension. Alcohol has almost no health benefits. They are loaded with sugars and cause obesity. Excessive drinking may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and liver damage. Most people cannot avoid alcohol, no matter how much they want. Always try to drink it in moderation.
High blood pressure is sometimes called a silent killer. You may have high blood pressure-related problems without you ever feeling it. But the good news is, high blood pressure is straightforward to reduce. Some easy lifestyle changes are all you need to lower your blood pressure.
Most of the time, a healthy lifestyle with some diet change is all you need. Be cautious about your salt and sodium consumption. Avoid added sugar and excess salt. Choose the food that is low in sugar and sodium. Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. These simple changes will undoubtedly lower your blood pressure and make your life healthier.