Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure (Physiology.org). High blood pressure is known as a silent killer, as there are no obvious symptoms. Certain physical traits and lifestyle choices can put you at a greater risk for high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Knowing what foods to avoid when living with high blood pressure can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
The history of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, began with the development of medical equipment and the appropriate techniques for measuring blood dating back to the mid 20th century (AHAJournals). It is estimated that by 2025 there will be more than 1.5 billion people with hypertension, making hypertension the most common noncommunicable disease, as stated in the journal, The Discovery of Hypertension (Physiology.org).
What Foods to Avoid when you have High Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure is known to be a cause of heart disease and other serious health problems. Though high blood pressure is a common condition, there are ways to help control it. One way to help control high blood pressure is by avoiding certain types of food that can make your blood pressure increase. Following High Blood Pressure awareness month, we want to highlight certain foods to avoid and how they affect high blood pressure. Having diabetes along with high blood pressure also creates a higher risk of developing heart disease.
What is High Blood Pressure?
As defined by Mayoclinic, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. The more your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Hemoglobin A1c Control for Patients with Diabetes (HBD) forces the heart to work hard to pump blood in the rest of the body.
High blood pressure can cause many health problems over a long period of time if not diagnosed or treated. Hypertension, HTN usually has no symptoms, so it is important to regularly get checked by your doctor or self check at home. Since it is a common condition, it is best to practice healthy habits as early in life as possible. Healthy habits would be exercising regularly, eating a diet that is low in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats (Healthline).
Complications of High Blood Pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Hypertension can also have no symptoms
Effects High Blood Pressure can have on the body
- Chest pain
- Memory loss/Dementia
- Kidney damage
- Heart Attack/Stroke
- Sleep apnea
- Blood clots
- Hardening of arteries
- Heart failure
How to control High Blood Pressure
- Eat a healthy diet*
- Regular Exercise
- Reduce Sodium intake
- Limit alcohol consumption
- No Smoking
- Limit caffeine consumption
- Reduce Stress
- Monitor blood pressure at home
What are some foods to avoid?
When trying to control high blood pressure we want to look at the types of food going into the body. Food is the core of nutrition and the starting point of having a healthy body. According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating foods that are lower in fat, salt, calories along with using spices, herbs, vinegar, lemon or fruit juices instead of salt, can help control high blood pressure as well as avoiding;
- Regular salad dressing
- Butter and margarine
- Fatty meats
- Whole milk dairy products
- Fried Foods
- Salted snacks
- Fast food
- Deli meats
Foods that help reduce high blood pressure and are good for diabetes
According to MayoClinic, eating foods that are rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products can lower your blood pressure along with reducing sodium in your diet. For example;
- Skim, 1% milk, greek yogurt
- Lean Meat
- Skinless turkey and chicken
- Low salt
- Low fat and low salt cheeses
- Plain rice, pasta, and potatoes
Incorporating these healthy food options into your diet can be a challenge, that’s why Yumlish offers great guidance with our recipes. Check out a few recipes below;
Why knowing which foods to avoid is important
By 2025 there will be more than 1.5 billion people with hypertension (Physiology.org). The awareness of which foods avoid when you have high blood pressure will help with how you order food and grocery shop. Incorporating this knowledge, with other healthy habits like regular exercise and no smoking, will help with the overall health of the body over time.