With high blood pressure "on the rise" in American society more and more of us are following the health conscious trend to protect our bodies. But what many people don't know is that there are specific foods that can spike your blood pressure alone.
With a third of our nation suffering from overly high blood pressure, hypertension, and another third suffering from prehypertension, the precursor, these foods should be strongly avoided if you're concerned with keeping your heart pumping normally.
Even sweet foods can have high sodium content. And as Americans we consume monumental amounts of salt in quick and easy fast food. Try not to add extra salt to anything before checking its content and always look for low sodium labels at the grocery store, as packaged foods are a huge contributor.
Publix subs may be some of the best deli made sandwiches out there but meats that preserved behind the counter or even in sealed packaging are not good for your blood pressure. There are up to 600 milligrams of that dreaded sodium in an average sub which is most likely not alone. Condiments sky rocket the salt content making a simple sandwich a ticking time bomb for your high blood pressure.
Items that are high in caffeine content such as our much beloved morning savior, coffee, can spike your blood pressure as well as your energy. Not to mention the soda at lunch and tea for dinner will keep it high all day long.
Just as sodium is used to preserve deli meats it's also used in a lot of frozen products to keep the delicious flavor contained after freezing. Frozen pizzas are one of the main culprits, especially if it has meaty toppings. Making your own pizza may take more time but you can control the ingredients going into your pie and avoid those pesky preservatives.
I know your first instinct on a night out is not to take care of your heart, but sitting a couple out and being the DD for a bit will really help with high blood pressure. Binge drinking especially can give it a good spike that will also cancel out any medication you could possibly be taking to reverse this process. Alcohol is a long term attacker so cutting back today will have you thanking yourself in the future.
Not just in cucumber form, any pickled item could be a threat to your health. You may ask what's wrong with vinegar. Nothing at all, until salt is added to it. Foods that are commonly pickled are usually absorbent by nature, this means they soak up just as much salt as vinegar in its preservation.
If it's not in the perimeter of the grocery store, it's probably not good for you. Canned soup can be incredibly bad for your blood pressure. Always look at the back of can for nutrition facts and buy fresh ingredients where possible. It may be easy to microwave up a can of soup, but keeping your own homemade refrigerated batch of tomato bisque can be just as delicious and easy.
Sugar is a sneaky contributor to high blood pressure that not as many are aware of as sodium. As recommended by the American Heart Association anywhere between 6-9 teaspoons is a healthy range for sugar intake.
We all know the best part of the chicken can sometimes be the crispy skin, but with the amount of trans fat that you are taking in it is the worst part for you. Other foods with trans-fat or have gone through the process of hydrogenation should be replaced in your diet. Trans fat is LDL's, aka bad cholesterol's worst nightmare. And when your LDL increases your blood pressure will follow along with it.
Whether it's in a can or a bottle there are many low sodium options when it comes to tomato products. Italian food is known for its high sodium and can be harmful to your blood pressure with marinara sauce galore, but as long as you keep it at a healthy serving and use fresh ingredients you are working in the right direction.
So take the first step in becoming a healthier you with a heart to match. Always check your ingredients and never feel shy to ask, "can I see a copy of the nutrition facts?". Avoiding the food items on this list is setting a good example to promote healthy blood pressure that is contagious to your family and friends, helping a whole lot more than just yourself.
Rebecca Borchers is a UCF transfer from FIU. She is orginally from Southampton, UK and is a hospitality major whos looking into event management. She is a world traveler who has a passion for volunteering and loves her dachshund. Rebecca is also a professional writer for www.DriverPhysicals.com.