Hypertension or high blood pressure is killer disease, which has spread itself among a large chunk of population. The scariest part of this condition is that it usually goes undetected for years and can cause a lot of damage to the body during that period of time. The symptoms of high blood pressure are very subtle, but the consequences are grave, leading to serious health problems like heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Unhealthy diet, obesity, heredity, stress and alcohol consumption are the chief causes of hypertension. A possible cause is intake of diet high in sodium and low in potassium. On the other hand, having more of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products can help prevent it. Thus, high blood pressure can be managed by making some modifications in your diet.
Listed below are some foods which elevate blood pressure:
The main food item which results in elevation of blood pressure is common table salt, which is high in sodium content. For controlling blood pressure successfully, the recommended daily limit for sodium intake for people with high blood pressure should be up to 1500 mg.
2. Packaged Food
Another major culprit for causing hypertension is processed and packaged foods like pickles, canned soups, ketchup, chips, dried soup mixes, ketchup, salad dressing, chips and frozen pizza. These items contain lots of salt as preservative, which in turn elevates blood pressure.
Coffee is a hypertension inducing food item as its intake can result in a temporary surge in blood pressure. 2-3 cups of coffee can result in significant rise in both diastolic and systolic readings. The reason is that coffee contains caffeine, which narrows blood vessels and releases hormones like adrenalin and cortisol, contributing to rise in blood pressure.
4. Caffeinated Drinks
Just like coffee, caffeinated drinks should also be avoided if you want to keep your blood pressure in check. High caffeine levels can increase the risk of hypertension by exerting pressure on arteries and also stimulatind adrenal glands to release hormones. You can switch over to green tea, instead.
Alcohol is another drink which can cause a sudden rise in blood pressure and cause damage to blood vessels. Research has shown that long term hypertension is common among regular drinkers while 3 drinks at a time can cause a sudden surge in blood pressure. Heavy drinking also elevates the risk of obesity, which aggravates the problem of hypertension.
6. Fatty food
Another food group which increases blood pressure is fatty and fried foods. Such foods are high in trans fats, which are instrumental in increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol and decreasing HDL (good) cholesterol, besides being high in sodium. Both these factors cause hypertension in the body. Similarly, you should avoid non-vegetarian food and switch over to healthy cooking oils like olive oil, mustard oil or canola oil.
Next on the list of foods which elevate blood pressure is the white poison called sugar. Excess sugar becomes stored in body in the form of fat, which results in obesity. As we know, obesity is directly linked with hypertension. It is best to avoid sweet foods and drinks for this reason.
8. Chinese food
Chinese food is high in a salt called MSG (monosodium glutamate) and also makes use plenty of soy sauce and other sauces. All these cause an unprecedented rise in blood pressure as they are loaded with sodium.
9. Whole milk/dairy products
Instead of using full cream milk and dairy products, one should switch over to skimmed and low fat dairy. The reason for whole milk causing elevation in blood pressure is that these products are high in saturated fats, which lead to obesity and thus, an increased risk of hypertension.
10. Instant noodles
The market is flooded with many popular brands of instant noodles these days, but these are very detrimental for health due to very high sodium content. You will be surprised to know that a packet of instant noodles has 1580 mg of sodium, most of it in the seasoning.
You need to be aware about these food items which elevate blood pressure and make a conscious effort to limit their intake in your every day diet. Regular exercise, meditation and abstinence from alcohol and smoking are also helpful to control this killer disease.