Healthy blood pressure promotes heart health, lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack. Diet choices are among the most critical factors to consider if you experience blood pressure spikes. While there’s medicine that might help control hypertension, why not alter your diet to help you control high blood pressure naturally? Bring your blood pressure down and optimize your health by avoiding these 10 worst foods for high blood pressure:
1. Deli Meat Is a Real Sodium Bomb
High intake of salt is linked with high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. (1) Deli meat is loaded with sodium, which manufacturers used to preserve this meat. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 2 slices of bologna have as much as 910 mg of sodium. (2)
If you add other foods high in salt, including pickles, cheese, bread, and other condiments, your sandwich might become a true sodium bomb. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid eating deli meat at all costs.
2. Canned Tomato Products Affect Blood Pressure
The salt content of most canned tomato sauces, pasta sauces, and tomato juices is extremely high. Since sodium elevates the amount of fluid in the blood, it increases your blood pressure, too. For instance, there’s 566 mg of sodium in a single serving of marinara sauce and 615 mg in a cup of tomato juice. (3, 4)
While it’s best to eat fresh tomatoes, you can still enjoy canned products. Just ensure you opt for reduced- or low-sodium canned tomato products. These products don’t affect your blood pressure and contain powerful antioxidants, such as lycopene.
3. Red Meat Is Harmful to Hypertensive People
Studies have found that red meat like pork, lamb, beef can trigger high blood pressure. (5) When the body metabolizes red meat, it may also produce substances that raise blood pressure even higher. Opt for leaner cuts or limit your red meat consumption to a minimum.
People with frequent and drastic blood pressure spikes should eliminate red meat from their diets.
4. Sugary Foods Up the Risk for High Blood Pressure
There are a few ways daily sugar consumption can impact your blood pressure. One study revealed that sugar-sweetened drinks and sugar itself increase the risk of weight gain in kids and adults alike. (6) Overweight people often experience high blood pressure and other symptoms. (7)
Added sugar has the potential to raise blood pressure directly. According to a study, cutting sugar by 2.3 teaspoons can lower systolic blood pressure by 8.4 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3.7 mm Hg in women with high blood pressure. (8)
5. Ramen Noodles Do little for Your Health
The sodium in ramen noodles may trigger high blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of stroke and heart disease. Ramen noodles contain 2/3 the daily FDA-suggested sodium intake–about 1,820 milligrams. Eating ramen noodles regularly can double your combined salt consumption for the day/week and you might not even notice it. The more you consume, the bigger your risk of hypertension.
Highly processed foods like ramen noodles are packed with saturated and trans fat. There are 4 grams of saturated fat in one package. Trans fats are artificial fats that extend the shelf life and stability of packaged foods.
A study suggested that trans fats increase bad (LDL) cholesterol and decrease good (HDL) cholesterol levels, which can contribute to hypertension development. (9) Trans fats in ramen noodles are also bad for your heart health. Saturated fats have also been shown to elevate the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. (10)
6. Canned Soups Are Sky-High in Sodium
When compared with ramen noodles, a serving of canned soup may seem to be a healthier option. In reality, stay away from this soup if you’re monitoring your blood pressure.
One can of veggie or chicken soup contains 2,140 mg of sodium while a can of tomato soup has 1,110 mg. (11, 12) There are low sodium and unsalted, sodium-free canned soups that you can choose instead. However, it’s best to cook your own soup and freeze it in portions if needed.
7. Frozen Pizza Makes Your Sodium Consumption Skyrocket
The ingredients in frozen pizzas can literally make your sodium consumption skyrocket! Apart from sodium, frozen pizza is loaded with sugar and saturated fat, which contribute to high blood pressure.
Besides the cheese and tomato sauce, processed meats in frozen pizza supply your body with an outrageous amount of salt. Manufacturers also add salt to enhance the pizza’s flavor. One frozen 12-inch pepperoni pizza has 3,140 mg of salt, which is significantly above the daily allowance of 2,300 mg. (13)
If possible, make your own pizza with low-sodium cheese and zero deli meat. Try making your own homemade dough and top your pizza with a variety of vegetables.
8. Alcohol Can Raise Your Blood Pressure
Frequent alcohol intake has been found to elevate blood pressure and result in different medical conditions. (14) If you suffer from hypertension, it’s recommended to eliminate any alcohol from your life.
Doctors say that alcohol can cause drug interactions and stop blood pressure medications from working effectively. (15)
Most alcoholic beverages contain sugar. According to one Canadian study, there’s a link between alcohol consumption and obesity. (16) Both factors increase the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
9. French fries Offer Unfortunate Health Risks
Potatoes fried to golden perfection definitely taste fantastic. However, your blood pressure won’t thank you for them. French fries are loaded with salt and fat, which can cause blood sugar spikes, belly fat, elevated blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
Scientists from Harvard Medical School studied over 187,000 males and females over three studies and discovered that individuals who ate four or more portions of French fries per week had a 17 percent increased risk of high blood pressure. (17)
If you love French fries, you can make a healthier version by baking those spuds instead of frying them. The baking method lets you reduce the amount of oil that is typically used during frying.
10. Salad Dressing Has One Surprise Ingredient
You might not realize it, but there’s a strong chance you’ll discover one surprise ingredient in your favorite store-bought salad dressing: high fructose corn syrup. You’re more likely to develop obesity and high blood pressure if your diet is abundant in sugar, particularly HFCS.
According to one study, consuming a lot of fructose from added sugar raises your chance of having high blood pressure. (18) So, if your blood pressure is already high, adding extra sugar to meals you don’t even notice you’re eating would just make matters worse.
High blood pressure is a worldwide epidemic. Studies have shown that consuming a balanced diet will help you lower your blood pressure. Unaddressed high blood pressure can harm your circulatory system and lead to more serious problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Potassium-rich foods can significantly lower blood pressure because potassium counteracts the effects of sodium. The DASH diet is often recommended for managing blood pressure. It involves low-fat dairy, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to aid in decreasing blood pressure and maintaining healthy levels.
Reduced-sodium, no-sodium, or trans fat-free canned or processed foods are the best choices. If you’ve used to eat frozen meals, consider cooking your own ones and freeze for months.