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10 foods you should avoid if you have high blood pressure

Healthy Eating - By Audrey Masitsa | April 30th 2019 at 09:16:59 GMT +0300

Living with hypertension isn’t all about taking your daily medication and keeping your stress levels down. Your diet and lifestyle play a big role in maintaining your blood pressure at an optimum.

A diet rich in whole grains, healthy proteins like legumes and lean meats, low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruits is ideal if you have hypertension.

A high salt or sodium diet is dangerous for a hypertensive. Below are foods you should avoid when you are living with hypertension.

1. Salt

Controlling your salt intake is as simple as avoiding foods you have not prepared yourself and thus you cannot control the amount of salt in them.

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2. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol in moderation can be good for your health. However, excessive drinking can have detrimental effects especially if you are hypertensive. Not only does it lead to long-term blood pressure problems but it also reduces the effectiveness of blood pressure medication.

3. Pizza

Pizza, unless it is homemade, has a high sodium content from the dough, processed meats (toppings), cheese and sauces.

4. Premade soup

These might be marked nutritious but they also contain high levels of salt. Avoid them by opting for soups marked “low in sodium”. Alternatively, make your own soup at home.

5. Processed meats

Processed meats like bacon, ham, brawn, hotdogs, sausages, etc., contain a lot of salt. These levels increase when you make your sandwich and add sauces and bread.

6. Coffee

Beverages which contain a lot of caffeine, like coffee, can bring about a spike in blood pressure. This can lead to heart disease.

7. Sugar

Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity, conditions that make you susceptible to high blood pressure.

Avoid foods that are high in sugar like pastries, soda, juices, and instead opt for those natural sweeteners like honey, freshly made juice and fruits to satisfy your sugar cravings.

8. Sauces and condiments

Ketchup, tomato sauce, etc., contain high amounts of sugar and salt which act as preservatives. Use fresh herbs to season your food. On the other hand, you can use very small amounts of sauces or dips.

9. Chicken skin and red meat

These contain unhealthy fats which bring about an increase in cholesterol, worsening your blood pressure. In the longterm you can develop coronary heart disease.

10. Canned foods

Any food in a can is preserved using salt making them dangerous for anyone with high blood pressure. If you have to eat canned beans, rinse them in running water once you remove them from the can to remove the excess salt.

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