Do you know what foods to avoid for high blood pressure? Or, which foods are known to cause an increase in blood pressure?
First, get down to the cold, hard truths regarding hypertension.
Nearly one billion world’s population have hypertension, making it a major health problem. Furthermore, this condition is responsible for the premature deaths and disabilities of nearly 90 million people worldwide. If you suffer from hypertension, you know how much of a drag it can be to live with a condition that prevents you from enjoying a happy, healthy life. Not only that but there isn’t a magic pill that will make you healthy again.
Yes, contrary to your belief there is no research evidence that dietary supplements and vitamins can help with or prevent cardiovascular disease.
Diets, on the other hand, have the potential!
So, making changes to your diet and lifestyle that are good for your heart has become the best way to control and prevent cardiovascular disease.
For this reason, we must know which foods to avoid for high blood pressure.
List of Food to avoid for High Blood Pressure
Consuming foods that are good for your heart is something that is already common knowledge. Read up on the heart-friendly, anti-inflammatory diet that can help you control your blood pressure.
However, some meals may cause blood pressure to spike significantly.If you want to maintain your heart healthy, it’s important to follow the dietary recommendations of organizations like the American Heart Association and the US Department of Health and Human Services.
On the basis of these suggestions, we have compiled the following list of food to avoid for high blood pressure. Let’s find out before it’s too late.
Current guidelines for heart health include avoiding red meat, processed meat, white bread, pasta, rice, frozen meals, fried meals, fried potatoes, alcohol, pickled food to protect heart health. Sodium levels can rise with any dietary pattern associated with decreased potassium consumption and increased caloric intake. Therefore, it is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Our primary focus is on a diet rich in plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, as we have already covered. So let’s look at what foods to avoid for high blood pressure.
- Red meat
The most common question is, “Can people with high blood pressure eat red meat?”
Red meat gives you more saturated fats than any other type of meat. Therefore, fatty red meat affects your overall diet balance. Through red meat, we are adding more saturated fats to our diet. It increases the cholesterol levels in the body. Consecutively, it can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Therefore, red meat goes on the “eat less” list. Fortunately, you can enjoy lean-cut meat occasionally.
The basic guidelines are to limit red meat consumption to 6 ounces per week. And for hypertension patients, it is 3 ounces per week.
2. Processed Meat
Do you know that processed meat is on the top list of foods to avoid for high blood pressure?
Here are the two questions that people most often ask about processed meat and high blood pressure:
How does processed food affect blood pressure?
Does processed meat raise blood pressure?
Processed meat is top on the list of foods to avoid for high blood pressure. We know that pork and beef make up the bulk of processed meat that has been treated to enhance its texture, flavor, and preservation. Therefore, processed beef has high levels of saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and phosphorus, which in turn spikes blood pressure and phosphate levels in the body.
But here’s a nugget for you: You can substitute the red meat or processed red meat with a low-fat meat option like chicken, egg, fish, etc.
3. White bread
We all know that eating too much salt raises your blood pressure. Now we’re trying to find strategies to reduce our salt intake.
White bread, cookies, and other baked goods are high in salt. It follows that eating processed meat, and subsequently bread and bakery foods, will further increase your blood pressure. Eventually, we’ll need a diet plan. That helps us keep our daily sodium intake at the right level.
This means if we start our morning with bread, then we can’t limit our daily food intake to 2300 mg of sodium, which is the recommended daily dose.
Researchers in Mexico City found that breakfast cereals with a lot of fiber did not make people’s blood pressure go up. On the other hand, packaged whole grain bread elevates the blood pressure level. However, we believe that whole wheat bread is a healthier option. Bakery bread, on the other hand, is high in sodium, which has been shown to raise blood pressure in people with high blood pressure and pregnant women.
4. Pasta and Noodles
Is pasta a good food to eat for high blood pressure?
Pasta is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. The glycemic index of this refined food is very low, which makes it a great choice for people with diabetes. A study found that middle-aged and older Korean women who eat pasta often are more likely to get high blood pressure than men. Even though the people in the study were not hypertensive at the start, they became so over the course of nine years, from 2001 to 2010.
Once again, how you cook your pasta is a key issue. The addition of processed condiments like canned tomato sauce and pasta sauce can make it a less healthy option. In addition, the frequency with which you eat pasta and the total amount you eat each day are also major factors.
Since this is the case, pasta should be eaten no more than once per week. You can also try cooking noodles with loads of healthy ingredients like fresh vegetables, olive oil, and lean meat. “Balance is the key,” as the saying goes.
Can I eat rice with high blood pressure?
Rice is an overall healthy food. Even the starch, particularly in basmati rice, make it a healthy option for controlling blood sugar levels. But on the other hand, rice rich in refined carbohydrates is linked with a greater risk of developing hypertension in Asian obese women.
Let’s look at the science behind high blood pressure and eating white rice. White rice has a GI of 72, which means it gets into your bloodstream quickly. The GI of brown rice is 50.
The glycemic index measures how much insulin the body needs to produce to break down a meal. When insulin levels are high, blood vessels constrict, decreasing the kidneys’ ability to flush excess sodium and water from the body. This could cause your blood pressure to go up.
The most popular healthy option for heart health and weight loss is brown rice. But it causes thiamine deficiency in the body. But overall, brown rice is recommended for good health.
A research study conducted in the US suggests that both white rice and brown rice are not associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease. But it is recommended that rice servings should not be more than 2 servings per week.
Therefore, white rice is fine as long as you are healthy. However, if you are at risk of metabolic syndrome, limit your daily intake to one cup. In addition, avoid it completely if you are suffering from hypertension.
6. Frozen meals
Can frozen meals cause high blood pressure?
Are frozen dinners high in sodium and sugar?
Despite being the most convenient food, frozen meals spike blood pressure levels. Why and how?
If you want to limit your salt intake, then frozen meals are a bad option. Because frozen meals are packed with salt, sugar, and trans fat. Partially hydrogenated oil (transfat) is used in a frozen pizzas, frozen pies, cookie dough, and other ready-to-bake items. which in turn increases the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease.
Therefore, look at the ingredient list and do not buy if it mentions “partially hydrogenated oil.” Because the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) does not mark it safe for human use.
Besides, frozen meals increase the risk of obesity in the abdominal area. The research study confirmed that ready-made meal consumers do get enough nutrition and are at greater risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Even more, not only sodium and transfat are not the issue, but frozen meals also have synthetic chemicals. Frozen meals also have food colors, preservatives, stabilizers, artificial sweeteners and flavors, and supplements.
The bottom line is that the fresher the better. Try to make healthy meals at home and indulge yourself in healthy family cooking activities. You cannot rely on frozen meals from a health perspective.
7. Fried Food
Research supports that fried food increases the chance of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In this regard, women are more prone to hypertensive diseases as compared to men.
The major contributing factor is the frequency of eating. Consuming food in moderation is the key to health. Moreover, most fast foods are made with degraded vegetable oil and reused heated oil, which is harmful to health.
Deep-fried foods can sometimes be more toxic than you can think of. It is because we need to consider various factors before choosing deep fried away from home. How frying affects fat absorption may depend on a number of factors, including the type of food, the size of the food, the amount of moisture in the food, the type of oil used, the frying environment (time, temperature, fryer, etc.), and the level of degradation of food when using fresh oil or recycled oil.
Spanish people use olive oil at home for frying. Olive oil does wonders. It is highly resistant to oxidation. In addition, palm oil is also good for frying.
You can opt for stir-frying and pan-frying options for making healthy recipes. Otherwise, eating deep-fried food frequently is directly associated with a higher risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Potatoes are starchy vegetables. They fall into the list of foods to avoid for high blood pressure. An American study found that eating more boiled, baked, or mashed potatoes raises the risk of hypertension in both adult men and women.
Furthermore, you are aware that eating potato chips four or more times per week makes you slow and sluggish. Weight gain is one of the outcomes of potato chip consumption. Therefore, you should avoid or limit one serving per week of potato chips. If you really want a crunchy, salty snack, try eating a small amount of one with less sodium. For instance, nuts, either mildly salted or unsalted, can also be used in very small amounts. The daily limit for heart-healthy nuts is around 28 to 30 grams per day.
9. Canned vegetables and products with excess salt
Canned products are bad for your blood pressure. It is because the lining of the can has harmful chemicals that can increase your blood pressure level.
Canned vegetables have hidden sodium that can be dangerous for hypertensive patients. In this regard, canned tomato products are worse for heart health. Similarly, canned beans also have excess sodium, which is used as a preservative.
Therefore, use low or no sodium varieties. The best care you can give to your family is to use fresh ingredients for cooking.
10. Bakery Food Items
How does processed bakery food affect blood pressure?
The most in-demand snacks are bakery foods. Everyone loves to snack on donuts, crackers, pies, rolls, candies, cake, cookies, and sugary drinks. But are they healthy?
Processed bakery foods with high sugar and fat content can certainly raise blood pressure. Sugar is even more dangerous than salt in terms of raising blood pressure.It is because fructose raises the blood pressure level.
Moreover, sugar intake is related to weight gain and obesity. Both conditions cause and create hypertension too.
Considering the fact that sugar is more harmful than sodium, we need to limit our diet to natural foods only.
11. Alcohol consumption
One of the most common causes of high blood pressure is excessive alcohol consumption. Furthermore, binge drinking raises the risk of developing chronic cardiovascular disease, liver disease, diabetes, renal disease, and certain types of cancer.
A research study in 2020 on the effect of alcohol consumption on high blood pressure revealed that “At first, alcohol lowers blood pressure for up to 12 hours after you drink it. After that, it raises blood pressure. Within twenty-four hours after ingestion, alcoholic beverages cause a constant and permanent rise in heart rate. That makes it among the worst foods to avoid for high blood pressure.
Eventually, reducing alcohol intake can help you maintain your blood pressure levels. Potentially, both men and women should reduce their alcohol intake for better health and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
12. Canned foods
Pickled foods are very appetizing and are considered good for gut health. But it is not suitable for high blood pressure patients. The most common reason is chloride. Because pickles are either made with salt brine or with raw salt and other spice mixes to preserve vegetables,
However, pickles with less sodium, more potassium, and garlic are beneficial for health. It would be best if you made pickles at home with less salt.
These are some of the top foods to avoid for hypertension patients.