18 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have High Blood Pressure

Several people in today’s world suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension. This is a condition in which the normal speed of blood in your blood vessels increases at a level that is alarming and unusual. As a result, your blood vessels walls are weakened and your heart starts to pump at a higher than usual rate too. It is this fast pumping that causes your heart to be over-exerted, something that leads to heart attacks and other heart issues.

That said, high blood pressure or hypertension can be reduced with the help of certain foods. However, others may aggravate the condition and give you a harder time. Here are 15 different foods that you should stay away from if you suffer from high blood pressure:

1. Salt

When it comes to issues of hypertension, salt is the worst culprit. Every time you increase the sodium content in your diet, you end up disturbing the ion balance of your body which is usually very sensitive. This increase in sodium content leads to the kidneys failure to properly filter your blood. When the kidneys are unable to produce sufficient urine and in a proper manner, the amount of water in the blood increases leading to a subsequent increase in blood pressure. According to food experts or nutritionists, for anybody to avoid suffering from hypertension, they need to keep their sodium intake below 1,500 milligrams.

2. Refined Oil / Margarine

Vegetable oil pouring on vegetable oil background

Refined oils refer to a type of fat that contains additives. These additives make the oil look cleaner and clearer. While the end product after these additives looks great, the truth is that these refined oils and margarine are packed with omega-6 fats. As such, this increases your risk of developing heart illnesses especially if you are diabetic. It also makes you more susceptible to both blood clotting and also urinary retention.

3. Popcorn

Popcorn can be a healthy food just as long as you make it yourself at home. This way, you avoid soaking the popcorn in caramel, butter and sprinkling either too much sugar or salt over it. Note that the popcorn that’s available in supermarkets or the type you buy in movie theatres is full of both margarine and sodium. Margarine may be an inexpensive option compared to butter, but it is certainly more dangerous. So, if you really have to eat popcorn, make it yourself. Alternatively if you like munching on something as you watch your favorite movie, get some celery instead.

4. Cheese

Aside from the fact that cheese is bad for people who are lactose intolerant, it is also not good for your overall health. It is indeed delicious and to some extent has some health benefits like providing you with calcium and protein, however the type you find in supermarkets is packed with salt which is not good for your blood pressure. When you eat too much cheese you get an increase in cholesterol levels and subsequently, you increase your chances of getting heart disease.

5. Canned Soups

When you see canned soups displayed, it’s easy to think that they are so nutritious. They actually look great in advertisements too, since the manufacturers claim that they are packed with healthy vegetables that are nutritious. However, this is not the case. In reality, these canned foods just aggravate hypertension. They contain a lot of sodium which is bad for you since it increases just how fast blood flows in your vessels. As such, when you’re picking a canned soup, ensure that you go for one that is labeled “low sodium.”

6. Deli Meats

Deli meats refer to processed meats that have been made to last for a longer period without getting spoiled. A lot of people like going for these especially because you can use them to make a quick sandwich which they consider nutritious. Considering the fact that the meats are packed with sodium, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just a two-ounce serving of deli meats contains close to 600 milligrams of sodium. When you pair the deli meat with other ingredients while you make your delicious sandwich, the sodium content shoots to an even higher level.

7. Chinese Take-Out

For so many people, Chinese take-outs have become a favorite. This is undoubtedly because we live such a fast-paced life and in such a society, we barely have time to prepare healthy meals every day. As such, we quickly jump at the opportunity to get budget-friendly options and quick-foods such as Chinese take-out. Unfortunately, these Chinese take-outs contain so much oil with a lot of sodium in them. This would explain why if you looked at sautéed vegetables from a Chinese food place, you will notice that it’s rather shiny. Chinese take-out is also full of canned sauces that are rich in sodium and other ingredients that put you at risk of developing hypertension.

8. Frozen Pizzas

People consider frozen pizzas a great and quick fix when they are unable to cook lunch or when they are too lazy to get something to eat. With them, all you have to do is pop them inside your oven for a few minutes and allow the cheese to start melting. Also allow the dough to turn crispy and golden in color. That said, to conserve your frozen pizza, you will need a large amount of salt. As you know, this kind of sodium content makes blood pressure more aggressive and makes you more susceptible to different heart diseases.

9. Tomato Sauce Can

Every time you go for a pre-made sauce, keep in mind that it’s a sodium bomb. They contain a lot of salt considering this salt is used in their preservation. This same salt then leads to a disturbance in your body’s electrolyte balance. Once the electrolyte balance in your body is disturbed, your kidneys also get affected. The result is then an increase in blood pressure levels. This just means that your beloved pasta dish could be the cause of your unhealthy high blood pressure thanks to the sauce.

10. Pickles

In most cases, when you need to preserve anything, salt is the answer. This is the case even with pickles. These vegetables heavily rely on salt to stay fresh but the worst part is that they are often dipped in plenty of oil or vinegar so that they can ferment and maintain flavor. Pickles are often eaten by people as a side dish. Sometimes they are also put in sandwiches and burgers too in different parts of the world. These high levels of sodium aggravate your blood pressure, which you don’t want.

11. Alcohol

If you’re a fan of alcohol, you will be sad to know that there isn’t a single health advantage of drinking alcohol. When you drink too much of it, you will experience an increase in blood pressure temporarily. However, if this becomes a trend, there will be long term effects which include hypertension, among other heart diseases.  When you develop the habit of drinking alcohol, you are likely to become obese. Obesity just increases your chances of developing high blood pressure. If you really have to drink alcohol, you should limit your consumption as much as possible.

12. Baked Goods

Baked goods come with amazing smells and could appear to be healthy because some of them have been marketed as such. For some, their great taste reminds you of certain fruits. That and the idea of eating something that is freshly baked seem nutritious and sound healthy. However, keep in mind that these baked goods contain a lot of sugar which could cause a spike in your blood pressure levels. To add to that, for bread, croissants and other pastries, salt is included. It is this amount of salt that increases blood pressure levels because of the sodium increase in your bloodstream.

13. Bacon

Eating bacon is a sure way to add on calories, which is not a good thing. They are really just sticks of fats that have been fried in pools of cholesterol. The worst thing about them is that so many people prefer to have bacon for breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. As such, when you develop the habit of eating something unhealthy in the morning, the effects are even more adverse compared to when you eat them at any other time of the day. Thanks to the amount of fat in bacon, your blood pressure will rise resulting in overexertion of your heart.

14. Coffee

Coffee has its share of benefits and is such a great drink to have in the morning. It’s also a great substitute for an energy drink. However, when you drink large amounts of caffeine you could witness a spike in your blood pressure. This results in hypertension. Coffee can also make you lose your libido which is another reason to reduce your intake. Remember, since the blood pressure spike that’s a result of drinking coffee is so sudden, it could cause even more harm to you.

15. Candy

Chocolates, toffees and candy bars also lead to an increase in the amount of sodium in your body. Candy also causes a violent spike in your blood sugar levels which leads to high blood pressure. When you take sugary foods in large quantities, you could also become obese and overexert your heart. This leads to an increase in your blood pressure.

16. Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are unhealthy and supply the body with a lot of unnecessary sugars. They also cause a lot of different diseases aside from just aggravating your blood pressure. When you develop the habit of drinking carbonated drinks, you will also ruin your oral health and your body becomes dehydrated. This kind of dehydration causes an imbalance in your body’s electrolytes causing hypertension and a subsequent increase in your blood pressure. When you avoid carbonated drinks you will be healthier.

17. Red Meat

If you visit a doctor and they find out that you have high blood pressure the first thing they’ll advise you to do is to stop eating red meat or to significantly reduce the amount you eat. Red meat provides your body with a lot of haem iron and this haem iron is linked to blood pressure. Red meat also has a lot of sodium in it compared to white meat which is why you should generally reduce your intake of it. After all you do not want to develop hypertension.

18. Donuts

Donuts are easily a favorite snack for people of different ages. They are however very unhealthy and destroy one’s oral health. They do this by depositing acid into your mouth. Donuts also cause obesity and we know that obesity leads to hypertension. It also causes an exertion of your heart and a spike in your blood sugar levels thus aggravating your blood pressure further.