10 foods to avoid for healthier blood pressure
While changing your diet for the better can lower your blood pressure, changing it for the worst (or maintaining a bad diet) can result in your blood pressure staying high or, in some cases, getting worse.
From high-sodium snacks such as crisps and fries to saturated fat-packed fast food, some foods are best avoided if you have prehypertension or high blood pressure. In this guide, we’ll share 10 foods you should avoid for lower, healthier blood pressure.
One of the best ways to reduce your blood pressure is by losing weight, and one of the best ways to lose weight is by reducing your sugar consumption. Avoid sweets, chocolate, cookies and other foods that are high in simple sugars.
Chips (French Fries)
Deep fried foods are high in saturated fat, and chips (or French fries) are also full of salt. Avoid eating fried potato chips whenever possible, since they contain a double dose of saturated fats and sodium.
Bacon is one of the fattiest meats, and eating it frequently can have terrible effects on your blood pressure. In addition to the poor ratio of fat to protein, bacon is high in sodium, which raises your blood pressure levels.
While an occasional cup of coffee is alright, it’s best to kick your coffee habit if you have high blood pressure. The caffeine in coffee causes a short-term blood pressure spike that can have negative effects on your health.
Frozen meals might be convenient, but they’re often full of sodium and a wide range of other preservatives designed to keep them fresh for as long as possible. For better health, replace them with fresh meals that you cook yourself from scratch.
While one glass of wine every other day is unlikely to negatively affect your blood pressure, drinking frequently can contribute to hypertension. Avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol; responsible, infrequent alcohol consumption is recommended.
Fatty Red Meat
Not all red meat is bad for you; in fact, when eaten in moderation it’s very good for your muscles, joints and bones. However, fatty cuts of red meat (particularly meats found in delicatessens) are high in sodium and can be bad for your heart health.
Milk is rich in calcium and protein, but it’s also very high in saturated fat. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, replace the full-fat milk in your fridge with a reduced fat or no-fat alternative.
Like coffee, the caffeine in energy drinks can produce a temporary blood pressure rise that has negative health effects. Avoid consuming energy drinks frequently; if you need some extra energy, go for a walk and refresh yourself with fresh air.
Since sodium is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, table salt should be avoided if your systolic or diastolic blood pressure levels are too high. After a couple of days of salt-free eating, you’ll discover new flavours in your favourite foods.