7 Blood Pressure Health Foods You Should Never Eat
7 Blood Pressure Health Foods You Should Never Eat
What’s the hardest part of eating healthy?
...I would assume it was the cravings you get for unhealthy things.
But now I know the truth.
The hardest part is determining what’s healthy at all - for you.
...it seems like every week what we thought was healthy is on the chopping block.
It’s tough to keep up.
That’s why the first step I recommend is ridding yourself of processed foods.
Yet, we’re lulled into buying them every day because they’re made to seem healthy.
Some are proven.
Some are controversial.
Today, I’m going to drill down on high blood pressure.
I’ll show you 7 common (believe to be) health foods you should avoid to get your condition under control.
Of course, it’s only fair that I suggest some health foods that you should eat.
To be clear on this - this post isn’t just for those with a diagnosis.
It is for those with good blood pressure, limiting these foods can be beneficial and even preventative.
So let’s begin with a few hard facts about high blood pressure.
The Pressure Increases - Common Myths Concerning High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure impacts one in three American adults.
Furthermore, only half of these are both aware and have it under control.
I suspect that more would be able to improve their condition if they didn’t believe these common myths.
MYTH #1: I don’t feel sick, so everything is okay
Some cases of high blood pressure do present symptoms, but it's not common. In fact, symptoms usually are only present when the situation has become dire.
You can absolutely have high blood pressure without knowing it.
That’s true for a lot of conditions.
...it’s really easy to check your blood pressure.
So easy that we have no excuse not to do it regularly.
MYTH #2: I don’t put salt on my food, so I’m not at risk
People with high blood pressure have to monitor their sodium intake.
As we’ll learn today, copious amounts of sodium aren’t always the consumer’s intent.
What I mean is that we’re being fed tons of sodium without expressly asking for it.
Actually, this is probably why you don’t feel the need to add salt to a lot of your food.
And to be honest, adding a little natural Himalayan salt to a low-to-no-sodium food would be healthier.
MYTH #3: High blood pressure is a genetic disease
Lately, the “it’s genetic” response has become all too familiar.
Genetic predispositions are not a guarantee that you will suffer the condition! While your risk may be higher, you’re still in the driver’s seat.
This is important.
Not all high blood pressure is genetic, even if you know a family member who has it.
The following factors can be to blame:
- Excess weight
- Excessive drinking
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Advanced age
Please note that you have a say in five out of six of these major risk factors.
Making lifestyle changes can increase the efficacy of medications. It can also keep your blood pressure from getting worse, or prevent the onset altogether.
MYTH #4: My doctor checks my blood pressure annually, and that’s good enough
If you have any risk factors whatsoever, check your blood pressure at least once a month. Even if it was fine at your last appointment.
And if you know you have high blood pressure? You need your own monitor so you can check your pressure twice a day.
Follow the guidelines for accurate readings. Remember to test your monitor against your doctor’s to ensure both are accurate.
7 Foods and Drinks Horrible for High Blood Pressure
Sometimes, it’s marketing that makes buying healthy foods hard.
Buzzwords like “natural” and “light” lull us into making a convenient purchase.
...we’re just unaware that simple staples are laden with things like sodium.
Don’t believe me?
Here are 7 foods you should definitely avoid if you have high blood pressure.
Even if you don’t, know that overconsumption can elevate your risk.
1. Tomato products
I don’t want to muddle the message with this news.
Therefore, let me be clear on the fact that tomatoes are healthy. They’re high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
They’re nutritious in all forms. Unlike what we hear about a lot of fruits or veggies, it’s not all about the raw stuff.
Antioxidants like lycopene are present in even greater amounts when cooked.
However, canned tomato products like pasta sauces are horrible for high blood pressure.
One glass of tomato juice almost meets the recommended sodium intake for those with high blood pressure - 1,600 mg.
Take it from me...
...it’s easy to make your own pasta sauce.
Tomatoes may not always be in season, but the canned stuff is bad on multiple levels.
Cans are often lined with BPA. Due to the natural acidity of tomatoes, BPA from the lining can end up in your food.
Here’s another seemingly healthy food that’s a minefield of mounds and mounds of sodium.
Cucumbers are an excellent source of silica, many minerals, and vitamin K. They’re also a low-calorie food great for snacking.
But if you’ve ever pickled something, you know what “pickling” involves - lots and lots of salt.
One medium pickle can contain almost 800 mg of sodium!
Essentially, we’ve made a healthy food unhealthy for those with high blood pressure in one salty step.
Unfortunately, low-sodium options aren’t much better. Many of them cut the salt by 25 percent...
...not good enough.
And this also begs the question: what about other pickled foods?
You must be watchful of kimchi, sauerkraut, and more if you have high blood pressure.
3. Deli meats
Lean turkey with veggies on sprouted grain bread.
Totally healthy, right?
Listen, I urge you to leave meat out of your lunch.
If you eat meat, you’ve likely cooked a turkey, chicken, or ham before. You know it lasts less than a week before it starts to go bad.
So what about that meat you picked up at the deli?
Why hasn’t it gone bad, even though it’s been on shelves for more than a week?
Two ounces of deli meat can deliver 700 mg of sodium.
On top that that, it’s a processed food. Processed meats are among the very unhealthiest items any of us can eat.
In fact, the meat industry as a whole is engaging in some highly unsavory practices.
Here is a short video showing you how to Reduce High Blood pressure in 24 Hours!
4. Canned soup
Soup options are ever-expanding. Lately, there are a lot of cans promising us light, organic, all-natural fare. Hot grains like quinoa, en vogue veggies like kale.
What they don’t display on the front in big letters is how much sodium they contain per container. And bear in mind that a “serving” is often less than the size of your favorite bowl.
Let me explain.
Actually, the salt they add to preserve it is the main reason we like it. We think it’s much more flavorful than the soup we made at home.
All because the manufacturer dumps tons of salt into it.
Making your own soup?
Try a low-sodium vegetable stock or make your own stock.
Add plenty of garlic and onion for flavor. Most soup freezes beautifully, so it’s still very convenient.
5. Fruit juice
This may sound weird, but hear me out, please.
We know what the risk factors for hypertension include. Obesity ranks high among these. Sugary drinks are a major factor for the rise of obesity.
When we think of sugary drinks, we think of soft drinks, and when we think of soft drinks?
We automatically think of soda. But soda isn’t the only problem here. In fact, some kinds of store-bought juice have as much sugar as soda.
And it isn’t always all-natural fructose. Juices can contain a range of sweeteners, from high-fructose corn syrup to sucrose.
Your best bet is to keep fruit sugar truly natural by eating it or making smoothies. The fiber changes the process by which you metabolize sugar.
By all means, coffee can be really healthy.
As long as you’re not pouring sugar into it, that is.
It’s high in antioxidants, boosts our mood, helps us stay regular - I could go on and on.
And yet, coffee can have a negative impact on your blood pressure, even if temporary.
Test this out...
...by taking your blood pressure 15-25 minutes after having a cup. If you’re spiking into an unhealthy range, it may be time to quit.
Remember that this isn’t all coffee’s fault - it’s the caffeine.
Therefore, you may need to look out for spikes caused by other caffeinated items. Obviously, there are many kinds of tea which contain it.
Also watch for candy, as well as surprising sources like flavored yogurt and protein bars.
It sounds silly, but for me, fancy cheese is a treat. Especially when I can find a kind without animal rennet.
I enjoy a little to counter times when I feel like I’m not getting enough fat.
But there are certain cheeses you should never eat if you have high blood pressure. Roquefort (blue), feta, and even those super-handy string cheeses your kids love?
All packed with salt.
Swiss, natural mozzarella, or cottage cheese seems to be the best low-sodium options.
So, how do you lower your blood pressure?
Here is how...
7 Foods for Lower Blood Pressure
Sick of hearing about what you should never eat? Well, you can eat for lower blood pressure.
Here are 7 of the best foods for warding off hypertension.
The inorganic nitrates in beets help your heart get more oxygen and make blood vessels healthier.
...explains much more about how they can lower blood pressure.
Are you clueless as to what to do with this deep red root veggie?
It’s incredibly versatile.
I recommend trying your hand at making an amazing beet red smoothie.
Important news - fiber can help lower your blood pressure.
The same goes for whole grains, and oatmeal happens to be both.
Best of all...
...oatmeal is easy to find and prepare. Try to stick to whole, organic varieties.
Instant oatmeal doesn’t have the fiber you need.
Mix it with berries, bananas, or make pancakes with it. You’ll be reducing the amount of refined white flour you use.
If there’s one nutritional fact everyone knows about bananas, it’s that they contain potassium.
Potassium weakens the impact of dietary sodium.
While bananas are commonly lauded as our favorite source of potassium, they aren’t even close to being the end-all-be-all.
Sweet potatoes, dates, and spinach are just a few more excellent sources.
This pungent member of the allium (onion) family is one of the most potent natural remedies for high blood pressure.
In fact, one study...
...finds that garlic can be as effective as medication.
This is due to the natural compound allicin, among others.
However, you must consume quite a bit of garlic to get the therapeutic effect.
If you can’t eat enough, consider trying a supplement.
Pistachios are another high-potassium food excellent for managing blood pressure.
100 grams delivers more than 1,000 mg of potassium. That’s more than 1/4th of your daily recommended intake!
They blow bananas out of the tree in that regard.
But they also contain more than other potassium-rich nuts and seeds, like hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Flax is a true medicinal food.
This omega-3 source is high in potassium and natural compounds that have numerous benefits.
...has determined that flaxseed alone lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure number by 2-3 points.
So imagine the great results you’d get by combining flax with other blood pressure-regulating foods!
Flax is great on oatmeal, yogurt, in salads and smoothies, and can be ground up and added to flours.
...a study funded by the National Dairy Council focused on women who ate five servings of yogurt per week.
They had a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure.
I’m a little skeptical of the source.
Still, it may be that yogurt is part of an overall healthier diet which lessens your risk.
But then, more research emerges.
It seems that probiotics can play a role in reducing high blood pressure.
We know that some probiotic foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain too much sodium.
...yogurt and kefir may indeed be the safest bets to get probiotics which may modestly lower blood pressure.
Final Word for: 7 Blood Pressure Health Foods You Should Never Eat
Have you ever tried to go salt-free?
If so, you know how shocking it is to learn how much sodium sneaks into our food.
Even things we thought were healthy!
The link between high sodium in our modern food supply and a dramatic rise in hypertension cannot be ignored.
With stroke and heart disease being the leading causes of “natural” death...
...our lives depend on it.
To rid yourself of excess sodium, cut back on or avoid:
- Canned tomato products
- Pickled items
- Canned soup
- Deli meats
- Certain cheeses
And, of course, processed foods.
Avoiding caffeine and excess sugar will help as well.
What source of sodium is most surprising to you?
How often do you check your blood pressure?
Drop me a line and share your thoughts below. Until next time!