It is scientifically proven that high blood pressure is one of the leading mortality risk factors in the modern western world. This disease happens over time when your blood flows through your arteries at a much higher pressure than usual.
Your diet – the choices you make daily on what you eat and when – has a significant influence on your blood pressure level. If you consume foods rich in salt (sodium) and sugar, you are inadvertently increasing your blood pressure.
The British Heart Foundation recommends eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains. They also recommend avoiding or minimizing red meat, refraining from adding extra salt onto food, and steering clear of those foods and drinks that include added sugars. These foods are known to contribute to high blood pressure.
Hypertension currently affects approximately 4 million people in the United Kingdom. Hypertension can cause grave health problems over time, increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Although medication is available to combat the condition, changing your diet can have a significant effect on its own and reduce the need for drugs.
This article will review the five foods to avoid if you are experiencing blood pressure issues, along with a few suggestions to assist you in commencing a healthy heart eating regime.
Salt, or the sodium content in salt, contributes to raised blood pressure and heart disease by affecting the fluid balance within the blood.
A good portion of the British diet comprises a lot of sodium which can be found in packaged and processed food.
The following foods have high levels of sodium and are considered a major contributor to rates of hypertension:
- Pizza, especially frozen pizzas
- Chicken Skin
- Cold meat cuts and cured meats
- Canned soup
- Indian Curries and other Indian foods
Highly processed deli meats are prepared with high levels of sodium. This is due to the manufacturing process of curing, seasoning, and preserving these meat types with salt. Combining other high salt foods, such as cheese, bread, sauces, and pickles, means that the simple sandwich has become packed with sodium.
The combination of ingredients within a frozen pizza results in them containing high levels of sugar, saturated fats, and sodium. The sodium level in frozen pizzas is incredibly high.
Certain cheese types are high in sodium. In combination with a pizza dough with salt, sugar, cured meats, and tomato sauce – no wonder the sodium level is exceptionally high. To preserve the flavors in the pizza after it has been cooked, manufacturers add salt – and a lot of it.
To reduce the salt present in pizzas, why not make them at home – a healthy pizza at home, using homemade dough, with low-sodium cheese, and fresh vegetables and toppings.
Preserving any suitable type of food requires salt to be added to stop the food from spoiling and maintain flavor for longer. The longer the vegetables remain in the can and within the preserving liquids, the higher the sodium content they will absorb and retain.
Having said that, there are sodium-reduced pickle options available in the market with which to choose from.
We all know that canned soups are uncomplicated and easy to prepare, especially if you are short on time or not feeling healthy. However, canned soups are rich in sodium, and packaged broth and food stocks may contain similarly high levels.
Try choosing the sodium-reduced canned soup options instead, or why not create your own homemade soup in your kitchen from fresh ingredients.
Canned Tomato Products
The majority of canned tomato sauces, satchel pasta sauces, and tomato juices have high sodium content levels as well as surprisingly high amounts of added sugar.
You can find sodium-reduced options at the supermarket for the bulk of tomato products. Choose these options to help lower your blood pressure, or simply use fresh tomatoes.