- High blood pressure is a frightening disease because it has few symptoms yet puts people at great risk of heart disease or stroke.
High blood pressure is quite manageable with diet and lifestyle changes.
Sugar and Salt are some other things that should be avoided.
Sorry, but these two tasty food enhancers are major factors in hypertension.
In general, a healthy person should not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. When it comes to sugar, the main concern is avoiding “added” sugar. Our bodies need sugar to function properly, but most of it should come from sources like whole fruit rather than candy or even juice.
Also to be avoided are high sodium foods. Canned vegetables, especially beans, are high in sodium because it is used to extend shelf life.
Beans that you buy dry and then soak and cook are actually a very healthy meal choice due to their protein, fiber, and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Adding beans to your meal can help keep your blood sugar steady, too. If you must eat canned beans, you can remove up to 41% of the sodium content by rinsing them in a colander before preparing.
Packaged and processed meats are also to be avoided. Packaged meats including hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and lunch meat also rely on sodium to preserve the product for a long time.
So not only are you getting food loaded with salt and preservatives, you are sacrificing the health benefits of eating fresh food.
Red meat is considered more dangerous to health than white meat, but even packaged chicken and turkey have too much sodium.
Instead, buy your meat straight from a butcher to get a fresh product that hasn’t been soaked in a giant vat of saltwater.
To get your hypertension under control, or simply to live a healthier life, train your taste buds to find satiety in the natural sugars contained in whole fruit.
Bananas are an especially good choice because of their potassium content – potassium helps to regulate blood pressure. When you really need a splurge, opt for one small piece of dark chocolate to keep the added sugars down.
As for soft drinks, just one soda per day can push you over your daily recommended limit of added sugars, yet because you drink rather than eat them, they don’t make you feel full or satisfied.
It is better to get your caffeine from lightly sweetened tea or coffee. If it’s simply refreshment you crave, try some sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice or a sprig of mint.
Under pastries, cookies, cakes, donuts, and other baked goodies can certainly be a hard habit to break, but they are simply loaded with sugar and fat.
However, you may still be able to enjoy pastries in moderation.
There is very little health value in alcohol in general, but it can be especially bad for people with high blood pressure. First, alcohol may be high in sugar itself or mixed with sugary beverages.
Second, drinking too much causes dehydration and is linked to weight gain, both of which are risk factors for hypertension. And finally, drinking more than three alcoholic beverages in a sitting will spike your blood pressure on the spot.
The bad news is that reducing the amount of sugar and salt in your diet will require some extra effort.
Preparing meals fresh at home is the best way to control your intake, but you can still use some packaged products as long as you get good at reading labels.
It will take some time to retrain your taste buds, but after awhile, you will start to gain an appreciation of the nuanced flavours in foods that aren’t dominated by sugar and salt.
That’s the good news – not only will your hypertension be kept in check, you will likely soon find that you don’t even miss foods with unhealthy levels of sugar and salt.