8 Foods You Should Avoid if You Have Hypertension
If you have hypertension, it might seem like you can't eat any of your favorite foods anymore, but it's all a matter of making smarter, healthier food choices. Learn more in this article.
What is hypertension, and what are the foods you should avoid if you have hypertension? Arterial hypertension is one of the most common cardiovascular disorders. It develops when your heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of your body.
It comes from the narrowing or obstruction of your arteries. This causes problems in blood flow, making your heart work much harder.
For decades it has been categorized as a “silent killer,” since it tends to be asymptomatic, until it turns into a serious problem.
The most worrisome part is that it interferes with how other bodily systems function. Over time, these changes affect your quality of life.
Because of this, it’s essential to get regular medical exams, especially when you have a family history or other risk factors for hypertension.
In addition, once diagnosed, the consumption of certain foods should be limited. Eating certain foods can cause more complications to this serious cardiovascular disorder.
Now we want to share in detail the 8 foods you should avoid if you have hypertension, and then replace with healthier options.
Let’s find out what they are!
8 Foods to Avoid if You Have Hypertension
Bread and other baked goods contain high levels of sodium and saturated fat, which once absorbed, increase arterial blood pressure.
Just one serving of bread has up to 230 mg of sodium, or in other words, 15% of the daily recommended amount for your body.
The problem is made worse by the refined flours in bread; if over-consumed, it leads to weight gain, diabetes, and uncontrollably high blood pressure. This is one of the main foods to avoid if you have hypertension.
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2. Caffeinated beverages
Excessive consumption of drinks like coffee and soda contribute to an elevated blood pressure, particularly when there is a diagnosis of hypertension.
All caffeinated drinks and foods are stimulants that inevitably raise your blood pressure.
3. Salad dressings and sauces
Commercial salad dressings tend to have high levels of sodium which, as mentioned, can lead to a breakdown in arterial health.
Mayonnaise, ketchup, and other similar sauces include many added chemicals that, despite making food taste good, cause metabolic issues in the long-term.
4. Butter and margarine
Both butter and it’s artificial counterpart, margarine, have high levels of sodium and fat that affect arterial health if consumed regularly.
Eating these fatty foods increases levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and forms a hard plaque that obstructs proper blood flow to your arteries.
In addition, these substances tend to slow down metabolic function, and often contribute to weight gain. You should definitely avoid these foods if you have hypertension.
Traditional cheeses include lots of salt and saturated fat, which can cause an increase in blood pressure.
Sodium leads to fluid retention in your tissues, and at the same time increases blood pressure and inflammation.
Saturated fats affect your arteries, harden them, and interfere with blood circulation.
Therefore, people with hypertension should avoid cheese or replace it with a vegan option.
6. Cold cuts
Lunch meat may seem like a good food choice, especially on the go, but is actually quite the opposite.
Recently, studies have shown that processed meats should be avoided, due to very high levels of saturated fat and other chemical compounds that negatively affect your health.
Its levels of salt, put together with the calories and added preservatives, increases inflammation in tissues and restricts blood circulation through your arteries.
In the long run, lunch meat and other processed meat products can even be a cause of metabolic issues, including obesity and diabetes. Lunch meats and their counterparts are some of the main foods you should avoid if you have hypertension.
Sweets and refined sugar are highly addictive, and unfortunately quite bad for your health.
If you have hypertension, they should definitely be avoided, as they have been shown to lead to excessive weight gain and diabetes.
However, you can opt for a small amount of dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, and contains healthy antioxidants.
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Pickles you find in the store are composed of exorbitant amounts of salt, which increases the risk of arterial hypertension.
If pickles are a part of your regular diet, they generally lead to fluid retention, a condition that affects kidney and cardiovascular health.
Do you tend to eat these foods on a daily basis? If so, try to switch to healthier options to keep your blood pressure under control.
Finally, do what you can to eat more fruits and vegetables, which is highly recommended for managing hypertension.