If you’re like me, you’ve probably had a doctor tell you that your blood pressure is too high. That can be scary. And if that’s not bad enough, the doctor may have also told you that certain foods will raise your blood pressure even more! But don’t worry: there are plenty of healthy ways to eat and live so that your blood pressure stays within range. You just have to know what those foods are.
- High sodium
- High saturated fat
- Nitrates and nitrites found in bacon and other cured meats can also increase your blood pressure. Nitrite is a preservative used to give meat its pink color, but it has been linked to several health problems including cancer, damage to your stomach lining, and lowering your immune system.
If you love bacon with everything as much as I do, then make sure you’re careful about how often you eat it!
Baked goods like muffins, cakes and cookies are high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. They can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and are considered by many to be empty calories.
Processed meats are generally high in sodium, which increases your blood pressure. Nitrates are also present in many processed meats, and research shows that they can increase your risk of heart disease by reducing the supply of oxygen to your heart.
In moderation, red meat is not a problem for most people. But if you want to lower your blood pressure, limiting or avoiding processed meats may help you avoid the negative effects associated with elevated levels of nitrates and sodium.
High sodium canned soups
Avoid canned soups. Instead, use fresh ingredients to make soup at home. If you have to use canned soups, then read the label and look for low sodium versions of your favorite brand. Make sure that you don’t add more salt when you prepare and cook them as well!
Fast food like burgers and fries
- The sodium content in fast food is very high. A single burger can contain up to 400 milligrams of sodium.
- Fast food is high in calories and fats, which can raise blood pressure. One Big Mac sandwich contains 510 calories, while one serving of McDonald’s French fries has 230 calories.
- Fast food also has a high sugar content, which increases your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease over time. A medium-sized soda from McDonald’s contains 54 grams (or 12 teaspoons) of sugar!
Ramen noodles are high in sodium, which is a known factor in increasing blood pressure. Their high calorie content can lead to weight gain and obesity, another cause of hypertension. Some varieties can be high in fat, while others contain large amounts of sugar.
Salty snack foods like crackers and chips
Salty snack foods can raise your blood pressure in a number of ways. They can cause you to retain water, which can lead to weight gain and bloating. These effects are compounded if you’re eating salty foods while also drinking alcohol or coffee, which both increase the amount of salt in your body by acting as diuretics (substances that cause you to expel more liquid than normal). In addition, the extra sodium may interfere with the way your body regulates blood pressure, leading it to rise higher than it would otherwise.
The bottom line? If you have high blood pressure and want to avoid medication or other treatments for it, reducing or eliminating salty snacks and other processed foods from your diet is worth trying first—it’s easy enough that anyone can do it!
Ice cream, frozen yogurt, or milkshakes
If you’re looking to raise your blood pressure quickly, eat a large amount of ice cream, frozen yogurt or milkshakes. These desserts are high in sugar and fat, specifically saturated fat. Consuming too much dietary fat may increase the risk of developing high blood pressure while consuming excess calories will cause weight gain that can lead to additional health problems such as heart disease.
Salt water fish (anchovies, caviar, smoked salmon)
- Salt water fish (anchovies, caviar, smoked salmon)
Salt-water fish is high in sodium. Sodium can raise your blood pressure and contribute to the formation of plaque in your arteries. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg daily for healthy adults.*
- Salt water fish are also high in cholesterol. Cholesterol can also raise blood pressure and cause plaque buildup on the walls of blood vessels.*
- Salt-water fish is high in calories—the average serving size of salt-water fish ranges from 60 g (about 2 oz) to 90 g (about 3 oz). Because it’s quite rich in fat content compared with other types of seafood such as shellfish or freshwater fish like tilapia or cod/pollock/haddock; if you eat large quantities regularly over time then this too may contribute to raising your BP levels over time!
Poultry with skin on or in gravies.
One of the biggest reasons why poultry can raise blood pressure is that it’s high in saturated fat, which can lead to high cholesterol. The skin on poultry is also a source of sodium and chemicals, which can all contribute to higher blood pressure.
You should avoid eating poultry with skin on or in gravies because they’re so richly seasoned that they make up for any health benefits you might get from eating lean meat. If you have to have your chicken fried or covered with gravy, enjoy these foods only occasionally and choose a healthier way to prepare them whenever possible.
Avoid these ten foods to help control your blood pressure
Avoid these ten foods to help control your blood pressure:
- Sodium-rich foods, such as breads and packaged snacks. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day for people who have hypertension or are at high risk of developing the condition.
- Alcohol. Heavy drinking increases blood pressure in healthy adults—and also puts you at risk for other health problems like liver damage and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). For women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, alcohol can lead to low birthweight infants and an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirths.
If you do have high blood pressure, avoiding these foods is a good place to start. You should also try cutting back on salt in general and adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, stress management techniques like meditation or yoga, and plenty of sleep. Your doctor will likely recommend medications as well—but don’t forget that diet plays an important role in managing your condition!