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10 Foods To Strictly Avoid If You Have High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

By Chandreyee Sen

Nearly half of the population today is suffering from the wrath of hypertension. The symptoms of high blood pressure are seen in both men and women, irrespective of their age.

Generally, diagnosis states that hypertension is carried forward from one person to the next by the means of heredity. But, it is also seen that people who are overstressed or those who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety often fall prey to high blood pressure.

Once diagnosed, an individual needs to take utmost care of himself.

foods to avoid with high blood pressure

Hypertension can often become deadly and can become the cause of associated diseases like heart attack, stroke, etc. These can lead to adverse health conditions, which can even make a person paralyzed.

Therefore, it is increasingly important that a person follows proper medication and food habits to control the blood pressure level.

Research reveals that there a number of foods, consuming which can increase the level of blood pressure. This in turn can have its detrimental effect of your health.

Below is the list of a few such foods and food substances, which a person suffering from hypertension should strictly avoid.

1. Excess Salt:

Limit the consumption of salt if you are suffering from high blood pressure. Sodium can adversely affect your kidney, heart, arteries, and brain with the high level of blood pressure. Too much of blood pressure puts strain on the arteries, which eventually leads to the bursting and narrowing of the arteries. Further, too much of sodium intake can damage the arteries, which connect to the heart. Initially, it reduces blood flow to the heart, which leads to heart attack. Therefore, a person should have less than 2.3 mg of salt in a day. Direct intake of salt and having food containing a high amount of sodium will lead to an increase in the blood pressure level.

2. Canned Foods:

Canned foods such as canned beans, boiled tomato products, and pre-made soups and noodles, contain a high amount of salt in them. This is because in order to preserve these products, a high amount of salt is required. So, while using canned beans, you can rinse it thoroughly with coriander and water and remove an adequate amount of salt. Canned tomato products like tomato paste, ketchup, and sauces contain salt for preservation. It is therefore advisable to create a homemade sauce to avoid high amount of salt content. Apart from these, pre-made soups and instant noodles too have a high salt content. They may be easy to cook and eat but can adversely affect your health. So, purchase low-sodium soups or make them with fresh veggies at home itself.

3. Processed Foods:

Processed foods, such as frozen chicken, beef, pork, fish, shrimps, etc., or ready-to-fry chicken sausage, nuggets, or French fries contain a high level of sodium for preservation. It might be tasty to eat and time saving, but it is always better to buy fresh products from the market, rather than consuming frozen products that can increase the blood pressure level.

4. Sugary Foods:

In the market, there are a wide variety of products that contain a high amount of sugar, either natural or the artificial one. An excess amount of sugar consumption leads to weight gain and adds to the extra calories. If you are a diabetic patient having food containing a high amount of sugar, it can adversely affect your health. Even for people who are suffering for hypertension, obesity is one of the reasons for facing an increased level of blood pressure in the body. Therefore, limit the consumption of sugar directly or in the foods such as chocolates, breads, preserved fruit juice, etc. Check for sugar alternatives if required; but don't have too much of sugar or sugary foods.

5. Soft Drinks:

Many of us are fond of soft drinks for its flavour and thirst-quenching capacity. But this soft drink which contains a carbonated soda, effective for acidity, also contains a high amount of sugar in it. It is seen that soft drinks supply more sugar to the body than chocolates. Prolonged consumption of soft drinks leads to obesity and subsequently increases the blood pressure level. Limit your soft drink consumption and instead have some fresh juice without sugar for having a better health.

6. Pastries:

Pastries are an all-time favourite food item for children as well as the adults. The delicious cookies, cakes, dough nuts, etc., are indeed mouth-melting. But despite their yummy taste, such products are harmful for people suffering from hypertension. This is because they contain a high amount of sugar in them, which leads to weight gain. Obesity will not only lead to a bad shape but amongst its associated diseases, it is seen to escalate the blood pressure level as well. Limit the consumption of pastries for better health.

7. Alcohol:

Youngsters and corporate people are too much engrossed in the consumption of alcohol and often think it to be a modernist outlook. But the amount of sugar contained in it can raise your blood pressure level. Alcohol leads to kidney failure, imposes heart risk, and leads to subsequent weight gain. All of these combined together induce the level of blood pressure and expose a person to undergo a potential health hazard.

8. Tobacco:

Smoking is injurious to health-all of us are well aware of this statement. Tobacco is the main cause of cancer, lungs dysfunction, health ailment, etc. Besides, chewing or smoking tobacco increases the blood pressure by narrowing the lining of the artery walls. Both active and passive smoking can lead to an increased blood pressure level, which adversely affects your health. It is therefore best to quit smoking.

9. Caffeine:

Having a cup of warm coffee in the chilly days of winter morning is a great way to kick-start the morning, but an increased level of caffeine consumed can also lead to an increase in the blood pressure level. Although the amount increased stays only for a short span; but when the quantity of caffeine increases, the impact of it can wreak havoc. Therefore, limit the caffeine consumption to twice a week.

10. Pickles:

Pickles are one of those food substances which are loved by many. In India, it is mostly seen that people consume pickles almost on a daily basis, either with chapatis or parathas. Though they are tasty to eat; but the high amount of sodium content in them for preservation can lead to an increase in the blood pressure level. Therefore, opt for pickles which contain a low amount of sodium or sugar in them.

So, if you are suffering from hypertension, it is important to keep a check on the food that you consume. Irregular food habits can also lead to an increased blood pressure level and its associated health perils. Try to avoid the above-mentioned foods and stay active and healthy.

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    Story first published: Friday, December 22, 2017, 15:00 [IST]
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