Avoid These 4 Foods If You Have High BP!

A healthy diet goes a long way in managing our health and preventing many diseases. Here is a list of 4 foods to strictly avoid when following a high blood pressure diet.

1. Salt:

If you want to cut back on only one food to control high blood pressure then it should be salt. Simple enough!

  • Have food prepared with less salt.
  • Avoid table salt and refrain yourself from sprinkling extra salt on your food.

Well! It’s not that easy. Salt sneaks up on our dinner plates without us being aware of it.

  • Ready-to-eat sauces, canned juices andsoups, tomato sauces, soy sauce, and frozen foods all have generous servings of salt.
  • Cheese, cheese spread, margarine, mayonnaise – A single cube or slice of processed cheese and the teaspoon of margarine have enough sodium to spike blood pressure levels.
  • Pickled food and pickles: Home-made traditional pickles or modern day pickled table foods such as olives are full of salt and should be avoided or consumed in strict moderation.
  • Papadoms – Papadoms or papads are high in salt. Strictly avoid or consume a very small piece if you can’t resist.
  • Meats- Cold cuts, slices, cooked meats and all kinds of precooked or cured meat are high in sodium levels.

Controlling salt intake is paramount for people following high blood pressure diet. The fix is simple. Go for fresh homemade food whenever possible and avoid processed food as much as possible. This includes food served at   express food counters such as french-fries, pizzas and foot long sandwiches.

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2. Sugar:

After salt comes the sugar. Yes, it is one of the major causes of obesity and puts unnecessary pressure on the heart. Our daily cup of chai will taste as good with less sugar in it. It’s simply a matter of habit. Cutting back on sugar also means saying no to carbonated drinks, packaged drinks, chocolates, cakes, , etc. A simple and effective way to manage your High blood pressure/ Hypertension is to limit oneself to a small portion once or twice a week.

3. Fats:

Fried and processed foods are always blamed for being high in unhealthy fats, and they definitely are. However, even the so-called healthy foods such as whole milk or full fat milk we use for our tea, coffee are equally bad. Switch to low fat or skimmed milk to cut back on fat content and, say goodbye to fried and processed foods.

4. Alcohol:

Avoid the consumption of alcohol while following a strict high blood pressure diet. In unavoidable social situations, hold on to your glass and just do not sip it. Make that one glass last for the entire meal and your head will thank you the next day.

Foods to Lower Blood Pressure

We’ve covered foods to avoid with high blood pressure. But there are also a few general tips on foods to add when you have high BP such as increasing your fibre intake, consuming low glycemic foods and adding less salt to homemade dishes. Here are a few foods you should consider increasing or adding to your diet to help lower your pressure:

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  • Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre while typically having a low glycemic index (but not all fruits have low GI).
  • Whole grains are a great source of carbs and fibre without contributing to your pressure, unlike refined flour.  
  • Fish and poultry are great sources of proteins without adding too much fat to your diet. Similarly, plant-based proteins like nuts have excellent low-fat proteins and provide ample amounts of energy.

  

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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About the Author: Tung Chi