High blood pressure can be worsened by diet.
Doctors monitor several vitals at appointments.
They do this because these tend to be significant health indicators.
One vital consistently checked is blood pressure.
According to a recent VeryWell Health article titled “Foods to Avoid on a High Blood Pressure Diet,” hypertension or high blood pressure can often lead to or co-occur with other health issues.
When high blood pressure is present, doctors will commonly recommend dietary changes.
What foods should you avoid to help manage blood pressure?
While not a “food” per see, alcohol increases blood pressure while simultaneously damaging blood vessel walls.
When blood vessel walls are damaged, high blood pressure can be even more challenging to manage and can trigger other conditions.
Although some people can cut alcohol from their diets, others find this to be too challenging.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming alcohol in moderation if you cannot avoid alcohol completely.
What is the definition of “moderation”?
The recommendation is for 1 to 2 drinks per day.
Generally, this means one for women and two for men.
How is a “drink” defined?
For beer, a drink is considered 12 oz.
For wine, a drink is 4 oz.
For 80-proof spirit, a drink is 1.5 oz.
For 100-proof spirits, a drink is 1 oz.
Blood pressure sodium sensitivity varies from person to person.
Some can consume little salt and notice an increase in blood pressure.
Others have a higher tolerance to salt.
Because this is often difficult to establish and because salt negatively impacts other health factors, you should stick to a low-sodium diet.
If you have kidney issues, reducing sodium intake is even more important.
Limiting dietary salt can be difficult initially.
The best way is to cook meals at home and minimize the intake of processed foods.
When it comes to health, not all fats are created equal.
Trans fats and saturated fats cause problems for the blood vessels and the heart.
These cause extra strain to the circulatory system beyond what is already experienced by high blood pressure.
Where are trans fats and saturated fats found?
Fast food and red meats are often high in these fats.
People should consume as little as possible such foods in their diets.
Tropical oils should also be avoided.
Better fats include olive oil and canola oil which can be consumed in moderation.
Simple changes to diets include eating more beans, nuts, seeds, poultry, and fish rather than red meats.
If red meat is consumed, choose the leanest cuts.
When choosing dairy, eating low-fat or fat-free dairy products is a better option.
The American Heart Association often provides a Heart-Check mark on products meeting the criteria for trans fat, saturated fat, and sodium in a single serving.
Although changing food habits is hard, your heart and your blood pressure will benefit.
You will feel better and likely live longer, too.
Reference: VeryWell Health (Oct. 14, 2021) “Foods to Avoid on a High Blood Pressure Diet”