15 Foods to Avoid With High Blood Pressure

Do you know what foods to avoid with high blood pressure? What are the reasons for blood pressure fluctuations? How to cure or prevent high blood pressure?

High Blood pressure is a very common problem, even a lifestyle disease now. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.1

What is Blood Pressure?

Actually, Blood Pressure is a force or pressure of blood in the arteries. When this force rises or becomes exceptionally high, then the blood pressure also rises.

How much blood pressure is considered normal?

“Normal” Range of Blood Pressure

There are 2 readings of blood pressure: systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. It’s read as 120 over 80”.

The systolic is the upper number, and the diastolic is the bottom number. The normal blood pressure ranges from less than 120 to 80 (120/80). Elevated blood pressure: 120-129/less than 80

Causes of High Blood Pressure

There are several conditions that cause high blood pressure, but their exact cause is not known. Few conditions that result in elevated blood pressure:

Smoking, Obesity, physical inactivity, hormonal issues, consumption of excessive salt, diabetes, insufficient intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, excessive consumption of alcohol consumption, age, and genetic factors. Besides these, the most common reasons are stress, diet, and lifestyle.  Hormone testing for women helps you know if you’re more likely to have to deal with high blood pressure.

Although at present it is a lifestyle problem so your lifestyle affects it the most and this can happen to anyone but the chances of develop high blood pressure2 are more in those who consume too many fatty foods, or excessive salts, people with a lack of physical activities, smokers, and obese people.

Foods to Avoid With High Blood Pressure:

Some foods (especially those that have high salts) are directly related to blood pressure and hence result in rising blood pressure.

Cutting down those food items from your diet might help you to maintain your blood pressure. Here is a list of food items that one should avoid to manage high blood pressure.

1. Salt or Sodium

It is known by almost everyone that salt, especially sodium in it, is not good for people having issues of hypertension but it is known by very few that you are consuming it in unexpected places and unintentionally.

Sodium is present in the following items, also called the “salty six3”. The majority of salt intake in a normal diet is from these sources: bread, rolls, pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts, cured meats, soup, burritos and tacos, Deli meat, Processed deli, and lunch meats are frequently packed with sodium. Because producers preserve these meat items with salt.

Also, cheese, many condiments, and so on are rich in salt or sodium. So avoid consuming salt or take them in a limited quantity, which will help you to reduce blood pressure.

2. Pickles

Saltworks as a preservative not only for pickles but for many food items. It preserves the food and keeps it fresh or edible for a long period.

So it contains salts, and salt is rich in sodium, consumption of too much salt again results in a rise in blood pressure.

3. Spinach

Spinach is also very rich in sodium and to avoid high blood pressure, and avoid or reduce the consumption of spinach, you can use spinach as a salad dressing.

Although it is healthy and used in many recipes sodium-rich content is not beneficial for lower blood pressure.

4. Sugar

Consumption of sugar is also not good for hypertension as it results in increased blood pressure in various ways.

As the sugar level increases the capacity of fat burning decreases and hence results in obesity which again increases the risk of high blood pressure4. Sugar also directly results in fluctuations in blood pressure.

Mostly dairy or animal-related products contain saturated fats like full-fat milk, cream, butter, red meat, chicken skin

So avoid the consumption of saturated fats to reduce the risk of blood pressure and other problems. You can do this by consuming plant-based food and replacing it with animal foods.

5. Bread

Bread contains sugar and as discussed earlier, one with hypertension avoids excessive sugar intake. Also, bread contains salt in it and again salt equals sodium, which one should avoid.

6. Alcohol

Excessive consumption of alcohol is not healthy at all and especially for hypertension. Also, the majority of alcoholic drinks are rich in sugar and calories, which again results in obesity.

Hence, the risk of high blood pressure increases. So you should avoid or limit the intake of alcohol in order to control hypertension.

7. Sauces

Sauces, especially ketchup contains salts that work as preservatives. So avoid the consumption of sauces to lower the intake of sodium/salts and to control problems like hypertension.

8. Fenugreek

The leaves of fenugreek are rich in sodium content and hence one should avoid its consumption.

9. Lettuce

It is also rich in sodium, so avoid or lower the consumption of Lettuce and instead, you should take food that is rich in potassium.

10. Cashew Nuts

Cashews are rich in fats. Avoid the intake of cashews to avoid high cholesterol levels and obesity, so that you can control your blood pressure.

11. Peanut Butter

Again salt/sodium-rich food. If you love peanut butter then you can replace it with a homemade recipe that includes unsalted peanuts in it.

12. Processed Cheese

This doesn’t even need any explanation as it is rich in fats, and excessive consumption of fats results in obesity and hence hypertension.

13. Muskmelon

Although it is a very tasty fruit, it is rich in sodium so try to avoid or lower its consumption or you can also combine or replace it with other healthy and low sodium fruits.

14. Chocolates and Cakes

Tasty snacks make us tempted but they are not always healthy. Chocolates and cakes are sweetened with a rich quantity of sugar. Rich Sugar content increases the risk of obesity, which is not good for hypertension.

15. Canned Drinks

Avoid the consumption of canned drinks. They also contain sugar in them, so they are unhealthy for you and especially for hypertension.

Simply avoid foods like tomato juice, tomato soup, processed meat, and table salt, avoid drinking alcohol or try to limit alcohol consumption, and avoid food rich in saturated fats, like fatty meats and palm oil. Sugary foods, and beverages, like maple syrup, candy, and jelly.

Some precautions one should take to control or maintain the level of blood pressure include some yoga asanas and other tips (mentioned in a later section).

Foods to Eat

Now you know that you need to avoid a diet rich in salt/sodium, sugar, and fats. We have also discussed some common food items that are rich in sodium and now let’s talk about which food items are beneficial for you. As your diet and lifestyle affect your blood pressure, eating healthy foods can lower/maintain your blood pressure. So focus on the dash diet and add the following food items to your diet.

  • Fruits like apples, bananas, and strawberries.
    Vegetables, like broccoli, green beans, and carrots.
  • Nuts, like almonds and walnuts.
  • Legumes, seeds, whole grains, like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice.
  • Oatmeal, low-fat dairy, like fat-free milk and reduced-fat cheese, lean protein, like skinless chicken or fish.

As discussed in the earlier section, lack of potassium sometimes may be a cause of blood pressure. Also, potassium offsets the effects of sodium. Similarly, food items or nitrate-rich vegetables also help with hypertension.

So basically eat a healthy diet. Limit the amount of sodium/salt intake and eat potassium-rich food in your diet, lower your fat intake, as well as eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Now let’s move to other things that possibly help you with blood pressure problems.

How Can One Prevent High Blood Pressure?

Besides improving your diet you can prevent high blood pressure by exercising (PERFORM YOGASANA) exercising combined with diet = opt for a healthy lifestyle.

Yoga is considered a helpful therapy for maintaining blood pressure or controlling high blood pressure.

The practice of yoga asanas helps with both mind and body stress is one of the main reasons for hypertension.

Below mentioned are some yoga asanas that will help you with hypertension and lower your blood pressure.

1. Child Pose

Child pose is also known as balasana. It is helpful for people to control high blood pressure. As the name says, it relaxes your mind like a child’s mind. It helps in various ways like this asana lowers your stress and helps with blood circulation in the body. Controlled breathing, during this asana, calms your mind and lowers your stress.

2. Bridge Pose

Bridge pose is also considered to be helpful with blood pressure-related problems. It calms the mind and reduces stress. It is also helpful with problems of mild depression. 5Besides it being beneficial for high blood pressure, this yoga asana is also beneficial for menstrual pain, abdominal organs, lungs, fatigue, headache, and anxiety.

3. Sukhasana

Sukhasana is also known as an easy pose. This asana is a well-known yoga pose that regulates breathing. This pose is beneficial to controlling high blood pressure as it promotes calmness of mind and provides relief from stress. Sukhasana or easy pose is also beneficial in maintaining body posture.

4. Shavasana

Shavasana, also known as corpse pose, The whole aim of this is relaxation. It is a very easy pose, which will help you in controlling your blood pressure, by relaxing your mind, body, and soul, relieving stress, and reducing problems like headache, fatigue, and insomnia.

These all are the causes of high blood pressure. Helping you with these issues, it results in lower high blood pressure.

5. Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana is also known as Cobra pose. This pose reduces stress and not only this bhujangasana is beneficial with many other problems like menstruation issues, increases your flexibility, and is also helpful for asthma patients.

Obesity and physical inactivity are also reasons for hypertension. To increase your physical activity. Do regular exercises like a brisk walk and normal walking. It can help you lower high blood pressure, and maintain a healthy weight.

Note:- Begin with a little increase in physical activity and if you want to do more, move further at a slow pace. In other words, do not go for high-intensity workouts. Rather stay in moderation.

  • Try to avoid too much alcohol.
  • Do not smoke
  • Relax more and manage stress issues.

(Do your favorite activity, anything like listening to music, meditation, walking in nature) this will help you manage stress problems, which is important for emotional, and physical health and lowering blood pressure.

  • Take regular medical care and checkups.
  • Do follow the treatment plan prescribed to you that possibly includes medicines besides maintaining a heart-healthy diet.

Final Note

Now summing up this whole article by mentioning again food to avoid high blood pressure. Cut down the consumption of salts, specifically sodium intake.

Avoid sugar-rich food and beverages, Avoid smoking and alcohol. Rather replace your unhealthy food items and canned soups and healthy fruit juices like beets and pomegranate juice.

These foods contain healthy components, (antioxidants and fiber). Or if you still want to drink canned or processed foods, then check nutrition labels and try to get the one with less sodium, no sodium, or no salt added alternative.

This will help you to manage blood pressure. Try to change your lifestyle through healthy eating plans like a dash eating plan which include fresh fruits and vegetable together with some exercise to avoid weight gain. Take care of your heart health.

Also check out, Spinach Smoothie Benefits

Amazing Cucumber Tomato Salad Benefits

Understanding The Negative Effects of Uncontrolled Hypertension
Icy Health

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Does milk increase blood pressure?

  • Milk products contain key blood pressure–lowering nutrients, including calcium, potassium and magnesium. “Milk products also contain a special type of proteins, called bioactive peptides, which have been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure control,” says Bourdeau.
Q. Does eating rice increase blood pressure?
  • Consuming rice can be beneficial in keeping your blood pressure levels in check. However, the type of rice you choose also matters. The fibre content in whole grains such as brown rice is favourable in controlling your blood
Q. What is the main cause of high blood pressure?
  • What causes high blood pressure? High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, can also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
  1. Staessen, Jan A., et al. “Essential hypertension.” The Lancet 361.9369 (2003): 1629-1641. ↩︎
  2. Conen, David, et al. “Risk of cardiovascular events among women with high normal blood pressure or blood pressure progression: prospective cohort study.” Bmj 335.7617 (2007): 432. ↩︎
  3. Dunford, Elizabeth, et al. “The variability of reported salt levels in fast foods across six countries: opportunities for salt reduction.” CMAJ 184.9 (2012): 1023-1028. ↩︎
  4. Stamler, Jeremiah. “Blood pressure and high blood pressure. Aspects of risk.” Hypertension 18.3_supplement (1991): I95. ↩︎
  5. Snaith, R. P. “The concepts of mild depression.” The British Journal of Psychiatry 150.3 (1987): 387-393. ↩︎

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