Diet can worsen high blood pressure.
The average American diet is terrible for blood pressure.
Unlike many other countries where foods are fresher and healthier, processed foods are more common in the United States.
Although processing food can extend its shelf life, it can also shorten the life of individuals who consume these products regularly.
According to a recent VeryWell Health article titled “Foods to Avoid on a High Blood Pressure Diet,“ those with a genetic predisposition or symptoms of hypertension should avoid certain foods to prevent worsening the condition.
What are these specific foods known to exacerbate high blood pressure?
High blood pressure and alcohol do not pair well.
While some studies have indicated limited alcohol consumption may prevent high blood pressure, there are no benefits for those with hypertension.
When alcohol is consumed, blood pressure rises and can damage the walls of the blood vessels.
As a result, hypertension treatment can become more challenging while the risk of complications increases.
Do you have to quit all alcohol altogether?
According to the American Heart Association, drinking in moderation, with one drink a day for women and two for men, may be an option for some.
How much is a drink?
The definition of a drink is one ounce of 100-proof spirits, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, four ounces of wine, and 12 ounces of beer.
Not as much as you would think.
Salt does not affect all people the same way.
Some people who consume salt in excess have high blood pressure, while others experience no effects.
Because physicians cannot predict who will be impacted and who will not, the general advice is to avoid excessive sodium consumption.
Even those who do not see a negative impact on blood pressure will find reducing sodium intake will support their heart health.
Salt should be avoided, especially if a person suffers from kidney issues.
Although reducing sodium can be a challenge, taste buds often adjust after a few weeks.
Additionally, cooking meals at home rather than eating out can be a simple substitution to reduce sodium intake.
Although not all fats negatively impact blood vessels and the heart, trans fats, and saturated fats are known to cause problems.
People can reduce the amount of trans fats and saturated fats they consume by avoiding tropical oils and minimizing the consumption of fast food and red meats.
Healthier fats to consume include canola oil and olive oil.
Proteins from beans, nuts, seeds, fish, and poultry are healthier options than red meat for those with high blood pressure.
When red meat is consumed, select leaner cuts.
Admittedly, that well-cooked fat around a steak sizzling right off the grill is pretty special.
Turns out it is pretty much poison.
But, once in a blue moon…
For dairy, opt for low-fat or fat-free products.
Although lifestyle changes are not simple, adjusting your diet to help regulate high blood pressure can lead to better health and longevity.
Reference: VeryWell Health (Oct. 14, 2021) “Foods to Avoid on a High Blood Pressure Diet“