Foods you have to avoid for normal blood pressure
Given that cardiovascular diseases pose high risk to life, maintaining normal blood pressure is vital for everyone.
Regular exercise and proper nutrition are definitely among the measures you should take.
The word “diet” is a complex one. It includes both the foods we should eat and those we have to avoid. The same goes for beverages – it is important not only what we should drink but also what we shouldn’t. Always read food and drink labels – it is essential for your health.
Salt, sugar as well as trans fats may result in a significant increase of blood pressure levels. It’s best to obtain sugar through fruits. A healthy diet permits a daily intake of only 2400 milligrams of sodium while trans fats are not needed at all. Try to avoid them as much as you can.
There is abundant information about the foods you must include in your diet but this is not the case with the foods you must avoid. So, let’s see now what we should NOT take if we want to maintain our blood pressure within healthy levels.
1. Red meat
There is no problem if you eat red meat from time to time. Moderate red meat consumption is beneficial for muscles, bones and joints. Nevertheless, the fatty red meat should be avoided because of its high content of unsaturated fats which are harmful for the heart and blood vessels. Such meat also contains high quantities of sodium. Meat is the main source of protein after all, but you’d better choose poultry meat, not pork, to supply your body with proteins.
We mentioned above that poultry meat is preferable to pork, but have in mind that you must avoid it if it is in the form of sausages. Buy fresh meat. Chicken, duck and ham are a sodium trap if they are in the form of sausages. They often contain preserving salt which will drastically increase your sodium intake.
Trans fats are the main reason for mentioning this product here. Some types of margarine contain 2 g or more trans fats per tablespoon. You’d better find a substitute because there is no trans fats-free margarine.
4. French fries. One of the most ordered dish in restaurants. Unfortunately, they are not the best option. In restaurants potatoes are often cooked in cheap, unhealthy fats. Besides, they are seasoned with a lot of salt. It is better if you order steamed vegetables or a salad in a restaurant. As for French fries, if you love them so much you’d better cook them at home.
5. Processed foods
It certainly sounds great to cook dinner by reheating ready-to-eat food in the microwave oven. It is easy and quick but this convenience may be at the expense of your health. You may read on some packages that these are healthy foods but be sure that they are full of sodium and other preservatives. Frozen pizza for instance may contain from 1000 to 2500 milligrams of sodium per serving. You will do much better if you try to find a little more time to cook your dish yourself. This will certainly be a step forward in favour of normal blood pressure.
6. Canned foods
Is it really possible that foods such as pickles and sour cabbage are unhealthy ones? Salt may again be the reason. Such foods contain surplus quantities of salt. And one more thing – the longer the food stays in the sour-salty marinade, the more the salt is soaked into it. If you cannot opt out of pickles, you’d better learn to read labels and choose such products which have lower sodium content.
7. Canned tomatoes
Bottled tomatoes are delicious and have many health benefits. But the fact that they are in bottles automatically puts them in the group of foods you must avoid. Tomato sauces as well as spaghetti sauces contain big amounts of sodium. It would be far better if you prepare a home-made sauce or try to use fresh vegetables.
8. Instant soups
After you read the above lines you won’t be surprise to find out that dry soups should also be avoided if you want to have normal blood pressure. They contain high levels of sodium and conservatives. And what is better than cooking your home-made soup yourself. Thus you can select the products yourself and put the required amount of salt. And it should be really tiny if you care for your health.
9. Caffeine-containing drinks
Coffee has many health benefits but may cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. The same goes for soft drinks containing caffeine such as Coca-Cola. It may have detrimental effect on people who have blood pressure problems. You’d better replace such drinks with herbal teas and pure water.
Some studies show that small amounts of alcohol may lower blood pressure but excessive alcohol consumption may have the opposite effect and increase it. Furthermore, alcohol may damage blood vessel walls and lead to hypertonia. Alcohol is also produced from fermented foods which contain sugar and we know that too much sugar also increases blood pressure. Therefore, you’d better give up alcohol. It will be best for your health.