High Blood Pressure? If So, You Need To Avoid These Common Foods and Habits! – Health and Fitness Blog

High Blood Pressure? If So, You Need To Avoid These Common Foods and Habits!

Eating healthy is essential, but if you have high blood pressure it is even more important. Eating right and healthy habits can protect your body from damage and have positive long term effects. You will feel younger, have more energy, and be better prepared to take on the day.

Frozen Pizza

Frozen Pizza

Frozen pizza is so convenient. Just pop it in the oven, wait 20 minutes, and you have a meal ready to eat. If you are watching your blood pressure, you need to cut out frozen pizza. Just one sixth of it can have as much as 1,000 mg of salt, which is almost as much as your daily allowance.

Frozen Foods

Frozen Foods

Frozen foods are among the worst for your blood pressure. Just one meal can have anywhere from 700 mg to 1,800 mg of sodium. If it is on the higher end then you have just ingested more than your recommended daily value. There are lower sodium options when it comes to frozen foods, but it is best to use fresh food.

Salt

Salt

Avoiding salt when having high blood pressure is necessary. The daily limit, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, says to eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Most people intake twice that amount. So where does all of this sodium come from and how can you avoid it?

Sodium

Sodium

The most common place sodium is found is packaged food. About 75 percent of your sodium will come from here. Other places include canned tomatoes, canned soup, vegetable juice, fruit juice, frozen pizza, and deli meat. Instead, go past the frozen food and make your dinners from scratch.

Pickles

Double Pickle

Pickles are a preserved food, which makes them full of sodium. While they are delicious and make great toppings, if you are watching your salt intake you may want to cut these guys out. One dill pickle spear can give your body about 300 mg of sodium. So where does it all come from?

Sodium Sponge

Sodium Sponge

Canning and preserving vegetables takes salt. The longer the cucumbers sit in the liquid with the salt to turn into pickles, the more sodium they pick up. There are low sodium options that may reduce it to 100 mg per pickle spear. If you are eating them on a sandwich with deli meat though, the sodium will at up quickly.

Deli Meat

Deli Meat

Lunch meat and deli meats are full of salt because they are often cured and preserved with it. Just a two-ounce serving of deli meat can give you almost 600 mg of sodium or more, depending on the type of meat you are eating. So what type is the worst?

Processed Meats

Processed Meats

Bacon does count in this category, so if you have high blood pressure you need to watch how much bacon you eat or cut it out all together. Another type of processed meat that has a lot of sodium is ham. One slice has 260 mg of sodium, which is 17 percent of your daily value.

Sugar

Sugar

Sugar is in many different foods today, especially pre-packaged and canned foods. Sugar is known to increase weight, but it is also is linked to high blood pressure. So how much sugar is safe to eat on a daily basis according to dietary guidelines?

High Sugar Intake

High Sugar Intake

Unfortunately, the guidelines from the USDA are pretty vague. It does say that your sugar intake should be somewhere between five to 15 percent of your total calories. This pertains added sugar, not natural sugars that come from foods like fruits. So if you are eating 2,000 calories a day, the calories from sugar should be between 100 and 300 calories.

Canned Soup

Canned Soup

When you are sick there is nothing better than an easy can of chicken noodle soup. However, these are packed full of sodium. For just one serving, some soups can have as much as 890 mg. An entire can of soup may have 2,225 mg of sodium. There are low sodium options but this is another food that is best made from scratch.

Canned Tomato Products

Canned Tomato Products

Tomato products are bad for those with high blood pressure in general, and canned products and tomato juice are the worst. One cup of tomato juice has 650 mg of sodium and a half of cup of marinara sauce has 450 mg of sodium.

Soda

Soda

Drinking soda on a regular basis is linked to high blood pressure. A study found that those who drank 10.5 fluid ounces of sugary sweetened or high fructose corn syrup beverages a day have higher blood pressures. Cutting back on these drinks can drop your blood pressure by almost two points.

Alcohol

Alcohol

Drinking a small amount of alcohol is okay, but if you start drinking too much it can increase your blood pressure. If you drink more than three drinks in one sitting, your blood pressure may raise temporary. This can be dangerous for those who already have high blood pressure, and for those who drink on a regular basis.

Not Exercising

Not Exercising

Inactivity can contribute to high blood pressure as well as other health problems. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends two hours and 20 minutes of moderate physical exercise, which can include a brisk walk. To lower your blood pressure, the AHA says to do 40 minutes of moderate activity three to four times a week.

Start Exercising

fitness, sport, training, gym and lifestyle concept - group of s

The easiest way to start exercising is by starting slow. Go for a little walk and start by changing your routine. Stretching and flexibility exercises are also a good way to start because they will slowly get your heart rate up. As soon as you start building up your endurance, you can start increasing your activity.

Smoking

Smoking

While smoking does not directly cause high blood pressure, it damages the walls of your blood vessels. This hardens your arteries and makes it harder for your blood to move through these arteries, which causes high blood pressure. Cutting back isn’t enough — the only answer is to stop smoking.

Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking

Two hours after you quit smoking your blood pressure and heart rate will drop closer to normal levels. The circulation in your body will also improve. While you may start experiencing withdrawal symptoms, your body will be much happier and healthier after you quit smoking.

Ignoring Your Blood Pressure

Ignoring Your Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, one of the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Damage can be inflicted on your body because of your blood pressure without you even knowing it. Keeping track of your BP on a regular basis will help identify your triggers. So how do you do that?

Check it Regularly

Check it Regularly

Buy an in-home blood pressure monitoring kit so you can check it on a regular basis. Your blood pressure will fluctuate, so keep a record of what time you check it and what the monitor reads. Your doctor will thank you and it will help you get healthier.

Stress

Stress

Stress can increase your blood pressure temporarily. Yet, being exposed to high levels of stress on a regular basis will take a toll on your body and cause higher blood pressure over longer periods of time. Stress can also cause you to become overweight, which can increase high blood pressure. How do you keep stress levels down?

De-Stress

De-Stress

Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga are great de-stressing techniques. Make sure to get enough sleep at night and take care of yourself during the day. Don’t be afraid to say no if your schedule is too busy, and ask for help when you need it.

Chinese Take-Out

Chinese Take-Out

Some Chinese take-out sounds healthy, like chicken and rice. But the reality is that it has a lot of sodium packed into these meals. For example, beet with broccoli has 3,200 mg of salt. Most of it comes from the sauce, whether it is teriyaki sauce or soy sauce.

Fast Food

Fast Food

Along with take-out, fast food is another easy food that has lots of salt content. Even foods you may think are healthy are packed full of sodium. For example, Panera Bread’s Full Bacon Turkey Bravo, McDonald’s Hotcakes, Starbucks’ Turkey & Swiss, and Subway’s Spicy Italian sandwich. Make your food at home to take on the road with you to avoid these salt-packed meals.

Pastries

Pastries

Pastries are delicious, especially when you eat them with your morning coffee. But if you have high blood pressure, this can be a very bad combination. These sweets are full of sodium and can lead to obesity, which also increases your blood pressure. A cheese Danish has as much as 540 mg of sodium.

Baked Goods

Baked Goods

The reason baked goods have so much sodium in them is because the salt acts as a preservative. The salt makes your donuts and pastries taste heavenly, but it will also make your blood pressure spike. To cut down on salt but still eat your pastries, make them at home with a modified recipe.

Red Meat

Red Meat

Red meat, such as steak, has high fat content which can increase your blood pressure. For example, an 18 ounce rib eye can have 79 grams of fat and 1,500 mg of sodium. Your blood pressure will definitely spike after eating this piece of meat. So what should you eat?

Eat Lean Meat

Eat Lean Meat

The American Heart Association recommends eating more lean meats such as fish or chicken. You can also get your protein from beans to add some variety to your diet. Fish and chicken have less fat than red meat, which will help keep your blood pressure in check.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is made by shredding cabbage, adding salt to it, and waiting for it to ferment. Purchasing sauerkraut from the store can have even more salt content because it has been preserved for longer periods of time. The longer it sits, the more sodium is pulled into the sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut and Salt

Sauerkraut and Salt

Today’s sauerkraut does not have much nutritional value. It is highly pasteurized and does not have the bacterial cultures that are good for you. Pretty much all you get from eating sauerkraut is salt. It is probably best to cut this food out of your diet altogether if you have high blood pressure.

Ramen Noodles

Ramen Noodles

If you have been to college you probably have had your fair share amount of Ramen Noodles. They are also easy to take on the go as a cup of noodles at the office. But these are one of the worst things for your blood pressure that you can eat.

Flavor Packets

Flavor Packets

While the noodles are not so bad, the flavor packets that come with it are horrible. The entire package contains 1,580 mg of sodium and 14 grams of fat, which mostly comes from the flavor packets. If you do need to eat Ramen Noodles, use your own salt-free seasoning and add fresh vegetables.

Gaining Weight

Gaining Weight

Gaining weight can cause an increase in your blood pressure, especially as an adult. Even just five pounds can increase it by a couple of points. Not only will your blood pressure raise, your risk for heart attacks and strokes will go up as well.

Stay Healthy

Stay Healthy

Exercising, eating healthy, and maintaining a healthy weight can keep your blood pressure in check. Eat foods that are lower in calories, vary your diet, and increase your physical activity. Start with small changes then increase these changes as you start getting healthier. Soon you will notice your blood pressure going into normal range.

Sandwiches

Sandwiches

Sandwiches are an easy lunch option. You can make them the night before work, put them in the fridge, and grab them when you are ready to go in the morning. About 49 percent of people each one sandwich a day, which may be the cause of your high blood pressure. So how does a sandwich increase your BP?

Lots of Salt

Lots of Salt

Many of the ingredients on your sandwich are on this list, such as deli meats and pickles. When you add processed cheese, the sodium count goes up. Combine this all into one sandwich and you have a lunch that is full of salt. Best to find something else to eat.

Energy Drinks

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks may seem like a good pick-me-up, but they will increase your blood pressure as soon as you drink it. A study by the Mayo Clinic found that an energy drink can increase your blood pressure by over six percent. Why are they so bad?

Sugar and Caffeine

Sugar and Caffeine

The reason energy drinks are so bad is because they contain a lot of caffeine and sugar. When combined, these ingredients increase your blood pressure immediately. It is a good idea to stay away from this combination and get your energy from a good night’s rest.

Frozen Fish

Frozen Fish

Normally, frozen fish is pumped full of a sodium solution to preserve it. Not all frozen fish products are this way, but some companies have different policies than others so it is best to check the label and see how much salt content it has.

Frozen Seafood

Frozen Seafood

Frozen fish is not the only type of seafood that injected with a sodium solution — most frozen seafood is. Frozen shrimp that has sodium injected in to it can contain 556 mg of sodium per serving. If you are craving seafood, go with fresh and cut out over half of the sodium.

You might also like More from author