Ah, the joys of eating. I love it so much that I’ve been known to skip meals and then find myself devouring a whole bag of chips at 3 am because I’m starving—and not just because my stomach hurts. Eating is both a pleasure and a burden: It’s great because it’s something we do every day with our friends and family members, but it can also be bad for your health if you don’t choose wisely. If you’ve ever heard about salt being bad for your blood pressure but didn’t know why, this article is for you! We’ll explore how sodium impacts blood pressure so that you can make better choices when choosing food items from menus or grocery stores.
Salty snacks are high in sodium and can raise your blood pressure. Examples include potato chips, pretzels, popcorn and tortilla chips. A small bag of potato chips contains about 1/4 teaspoon salt — that’s the amount you should aim to limit yourself to per day, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Many common foods contain hidden sources of salt, so it’s important to read nutrition labels carefully and avoid products that list high amounts of sodium on the list of ingredients. If a food doesn’t have a nutrition label — such as if you’re eating out at a restaurant or buying something pre-packaged at the grocery store — ask your server how much sodium is in what they’re serving up before ordering anything with extra seasoning on it.
In addition to cutting down on salty snacks like those listed above, try not using added salt when cooking; instead opt for fresh herbs and spices instead!
Pizza is a staple of many people’s diets, but it can be high in sodium and saturated fat. A large pepperoni pizza from Domino’s has 1,490 milligrams of sodium, which is more than one third of the daily recommended amount for someone with high blood pressure (1). If you want to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, avoid this kind of meal altogether or order something with less cheese and sauce—like plain cheese or veggie pizza instead.
You should also limit the amount of refined grains you eat each day. Refined grains have been stripped of their fiber, minerals and vitamins during processing; they are often paired with unhealthy fats like butter or oil; and they’re full of calories that don’t provide any nutritional benefits to your body—all reasons why it might be better for your health if you cut back on them!
As a general rule, soups are good for you—they’re full of nutrients and are an easy way to get more vegetables in your diet. This is especially true if the soup only contains a few ingredients, like beans or lentils (hint: they’re not as high in sodium). But be careful with canned soups that have high sodium content. Check out labels carefully! You can also opt for homemade versions of some of your favorite canned soups by using low-sodium broth and choosing low-sodium canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones.
Frozen meals may be quick and easy, but they can have a serious impact on your blood pressure. Many frozen meals are high in sodium, which can cause your body to retain water and raise blood pressure. They also tend to be low in nutritional value and often contain high amounts of fat or sugar.
In fact, some studies have found that eating one serving per day of frozen food can nearly double your risk for heart disease!
- Red meat.
- Saturated fat is the main cause of high blood pressure. Red meats are very high in saturated fat. It’s best to limit red meat (beef, pork and lamb) intake to three servings per week or less if you have heart disease or are at risk for it.
- Cholesterol can also raise your blood pressure by clogging arteries and making them stiffer, which increases resistance to blood flow. Red meats have higher levels of cholesterol than other types of protein sources like poultry, fish and beans.* Sodium plays an important role in regulating your body’s fluid balance, so reducing how much salt you eat is important for lowering your blood pressure.* And finally: red meat has been linked with an increased risk for colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes — two conditions that can contribute significantly to elevated BP levels
The first thing to remember is that pickles are a good example of the types of foods that can double your blood pressure. We know this because they’re super salty, and salt raises your blood pressure.
Pickles are also high in sodium, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke (and even death!). High blood pressure is a major risk factor for both conditions — meaning if you have high blood pressure, you may be putting yourself at an increased risk for these other health issues as well!
Peanut butter is a high-fat food that can be high in calories, sodium and cholesterol. It has been shown to raise blood pressure when eaten in excess of two tablespoons per day.
Peanut butter may cause heartburn or indigestion if eaten too quickly. Eating it on whole wheat bread may help prevent this problem as it slows down the digestion process and increases the amount of time the body has to absorb the nutrients from the peanut butter.
- Potato chips are salty snacks that can raise your blood pressure.
- How much is too much? Avoid eating a bag of potato chips in one sitting (or at least one bag per week). If you eat more than that, your blood pressure might go up as high as 10%.
- Dried fruit is a perfectly healthy food, but it can cause your blood pressure to rise if you consume too much. As a good source of fiber and vitamins, dried fruit can be a great way to add variety to your diet, so long as you keep portions in check. Look for unsulfured varieties (such as raisins) that have not been treated with sulfur dioxide or sulfites, which can irritate the digestive system and may exacerbate symptoms of hypertension.
- Reduce your consumption of dried fruit by substituting other snacks:
1 cup chopped pecans = 160 calories, 2 grams saturated fat; 1/2 cup dried apricots = 100 calories, 3 grams fiber; 1/2 cup prunes = 70 calories, 3 grams fiber
Keep track of how much sodium you’re consuming, and always check the nutrition label.
Sodium is a mineral found in many foods and also used as a chemical preservative and flavor enhancer. It’s an essential nutrient, but too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and put you at risk of heart disease.
If you want to keep your blood pressure down, it’s important to keep track of how much sodium you’re consuming each day. This can be challenging because sodium is so widespread; it’s in everything from prepackaged meals to restaurant food items. The best way to avoid excess sodium is by checking nutrition labels (which list the amount of sodium per serving) for processed foods that may have more than what you think they should have, or by eating fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned ones which tend to be high in sodium content.”
We hope that by reading this article, you’ve learned some new ways to lower your blood pressure with diet
and lifestyle changes. Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving good health: what works for some people may not work for others, so be sure to listen to your body and work with it rather than against it. If you need help deciding which foods are best for you or how much exercise is right for today’s workout plan, talk with your doctor!