Your blood pressure goes up, when there’s excess fluid and not enough space in your arteries. That’s when your kidneys open up, and release extra fluid from your arteries into your urine. So you literally flush away that extra pressure.
At least, you should, but if this isn’t the case, you may have high blood pressure. This is a reading above 140/90 mm HG.
In today’s video, we look at the FIVE worst foods that cause elevated blood pressure or hypertension, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
We begin with the #1 “heart-healthy oil” that is, in fact, destroying your health.
Number 5. Vegetable Oils.
Prolonged consumption of vegetable oils trigger chemicals that cause inflammation in your body. This can lead to hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases.
Vegetable oils such as soybean, cottonseed, corn, safflower, grapeseed, and canola oil, are mostly composed of processed polyunsaturated fats.
During refining, these oils oxidize easily when exposed to heat or light and become rancid.
They have a lot of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, and very few anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which is bad for you.
A 2019 study in OpenHeart showed that omega-6’s increase blood pressure through their high amounts of linoleic acid.
In another 2011 study, rats who were fed palm and soybean oils experienced a noticeable increase in blood pressure.
If you buy processed foods, packaged baked goods, fast food, fried foods, frozen foods, and margarine, it is almost certain that vegetable oils were used to prepare these foods.
Or worse, it may use partially hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening, also known as trans fats.
Trans fatty acids are notorious for their double whammy effect: they increase the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower levels of the ‘good’ cholesterol. They also increase inflammatory response and cause leaky gut.
To replace vegetable oils, cook with unrefined oils like macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil.
Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy polyunsaturated fats. A polyunsaturated fat that isn’t processed is usually not inflammatory.
Next, this mineral gets most of the blame for high blood pressure.
Number 4. Salt or Sodium.
Doctors have been preaching about avoiding salt for a long time. This is because it was considered a contributing factor in high blood pressure. How is that?
Well, salt can cause the body to store water. When that happens, blood volume rises, and some people get higher blood pressure.
Salt comprises sodium and chloride. But in reality, it is sodium that can be harmful to your health.
The body needs a small amount of sodium to function, but most people in industrialized countries consume too much sodium.
One survey of worldwide dietary sodium intake found that only 10 to 15% of total dietary sodium comes from adding it to food cooked at home.
The other 75 to 80% of sodium ingested by people in North America and Europe comes from processed food. This should come as no surprise!
Highly processed meals are not only high in sodium, they are also full of high fructose corn syrup, chemical preservatives, starchy fillers, and other undesirable elements that all contribute to poor health.
So it’s tough to say that the sodium in these processed foods is the only thing that causes high blood pressure.
In fact, the link between sodium and high blood pressure is uncertain, because many of the scientific studies on the effects of salt on hypertension have been inconclusive.
A 2011 meta-analysis of seven studies involving over 6,000 people found that there is NO firm evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death.
Some studies have even found low-salt diets lead to a slight increase in health problems. There is a growing body of research questioning the long-term benefits of a low-salt diet.
The only time when sodium can lead to hypertension is when there is an imbalance between the salt and potassium in the diet.
Sodium and potassium balance each other. Too much salt depletes potassium, and too much potassium depletes salt.
So, the important choice here is to increase potassium in the diet. And that’s pretty easy—just add a lot of fresh veggies and fruits, and you have more potassium!
So rather than worrying about the sodium content in foods, eat organic unprocessed foods that include an abundance of veggies and fruit.
Most veggies and fruits are loaded with potassium, which helps the body get rid of excess sodium and lower blood pressure.
So, if you have elevated blood pressure, just eat more potassium-rich whole foods. Cut way back on the salt and foods containing sodium, and stay away from refined sugar and grains.
And, of course, avoid processed foods. If it comes in a can, box, bag, and has multiple ingredients, it is probably not good for you.
Processed foods containing excess sodium include cheese singles, frozen meals and pizza, french fries, deli meats, condiments like ketchup and barbeque sauce, and pickles.
Canned foods like tomatoes, beans and soups not only contain too much sodium, they also contain the chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), which has been found to raise blood pressure significantly.
Foods that contain high levels of potassium include avocado, squash, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, coconut water and bananas.
Next, this white crystal is the real culprit behind high blood pressure.
Number 3. Refined carbs and sugar.
It’s well-established that a diet high in refined carbs and sugar increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Refined carbs are starchy foods like white bread, pasta, pizza dough, pastries and cereals, and contain mostly sugars.
They are made from processed grains like corn, wheat – and soy (a legume), which have nutrients removed from them.
Too many refined carbohydrates increase water in the blood, thus increasing blood pressure.
A 2014 study published in OpenHeart showed that refined sugar, particularly fructose, may be a bigger threat for blood pressure and heart disease (than salt).
The researchers found that people who ate processed foods loaded with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for two weeks, experience elevated blood pressure.
Fructose or HFCS is a sweetener found in 80 to 90% of all processed foods, sodas, sweetened beverages, juice drinks, and other packaged foods like biscuits and salad dressings.
So how does added sugar cause the onset of hypertension? It does this through several mechanisms.
One. Fructose increases uric acid, which raises blood pressure by blocking nitric oxide in blood vessels. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels and helps them stay elastic.
Two. When the body produces too much insulin and leptin in response to a higher-carb diet, it can increase blood pressure because it decreases the amount of water and sodium that the kidneys excrete.
Three. As insulin levels increase, cells become resistant to insulin. This results in magnesium not being able to be stored in the body. So it leaves the body through urination. When there is not enough magnesium, blood vessels do not relax fully, which raises blood pressure.
Four. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) directly result from exposure to sugars. AGEs cause diabetes-related complications. They also trigger processes that cause blood vessels to stiffen and narrow. This contributes to atherosclerosis and further increases blood pressure.
To substantially reduce blood pressure, eliminate wheat, soy and corn, along with sugars and processed foods.
Go for complex carbs like peas, beans, whole grain (try to avoid wheat) and vegetables. And use moderate amounts of natural sweeteners like raw honey, maple syrup, stevia and molasses.
Coming up, this beverage can spike your blood pressure and damage your brain.
Number 2. Alcohol.
There is a proven positive association between alcohol intake and blood pressure.
According to a study of 15 controlled scientific studies, reducing alcohol consumption lowered blood pressure in a dose-responsive way. The less alcohol consumed, the better the blood pressure results, and vice versa.
Another study showed that when people stopped or severely restricted their alcohol intake, their blood pressure went down. But when they resumed drinking the same amount of alcohol as before, their blood pressure went back up to where it was before the study.
If you have high blood pressure, and do not plan to quit drinking, limit yourself to one drink a day – whether it’s wine, beer, whiskey or a mixed drink.
Next, if you love charbroiled burgers and grilled meats, do this ONE thing to protect your health.
Number 1. Over-Grilled Meat.
New research suggests that eating meat cooked at high temperatures can cause an inflammatory response in the body, which raises blood pressure.
In 2018, researchers presented a 16-year study about the effects of cooking red meat and fish. The study showed that cooking meat and fish at high temperatures, such as over an open flame, raises the risk of developing hypertension.
People who grilled their meat and fish were 17% more likely to develop hypertension than those who broiled or roasted their meat.
Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines (HAAs) are carcinogenic compounds that form when meat protein is exposed to high temperatures. The risk of hypertension increases with the amount of HAAs present. Well-done meats have more HAAs than rarer meats.
If you are going to grill meats, using rosemary, thyme, garlic, oregano and other spices in a marinade can decimate any carcinogens.
Harvard Medical School researchers have found that inflammation may be an underlying cause of high blood pressure. They found that levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein are significantly and independently associated with the future development of hypertension.
To reduce inflammation, click the link below to get our FREE Anti-Inflammatory Diet Plan.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice. We are not doctors.
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Check out our previous video Top 7 foods to lower blood pressure naturally.
And now over to you! What foods have your found raises your blood pressure? What are you doing about it?
Leave your comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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