Top Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure
The HealthCentral Editorial Team | Nov 8, 2012
Reviewed by Glenn Gandelman, M.D., M.P.H.
Have high blood pressure? It’s important to have a diet low in sodium and fat. Here are the top foods you should cut from your meal plans.
Pickles are low calorie, which is great, but they are loaded with sodium. One medium pickle (about 5 inches long) can have around 570 mg of sodium. That’s over 1/3 of your sodium limit (2300 mg) for the day!
Canned Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is often considered a comfort food, but it is not so comforting to know that there can be up to 880 mg of sodium in a one cup serving.
It’s low calorie and a great way to add vegetables to a bratwurst, right? Nope. A half cup may only have about 13 calories, but it also has over 460 mg of sodium.
Fast Food French Fries
While many fast food chains are now frying their fries in trans fat free oil, not all of them are. Regardless, french fries still provide a large dose of fat and sodium. A medium serving of fries has about 19 grams of fat and 270 mg of sodium.
Bacon is mostly fat. Three slices have 4.5 grams of fat and about 270 mg of sodium. Opt for lower sodium varieties and try turkey bacon instead of pork. Even with these switches bacon should remain a “special treat”, not an everyday indulgence.
Dairy is a great source of calcium, but high fat dairy sources, like whole milk, provide more fat than you need. A one cup serving of whole milk provides 8 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated. Saturated fats are worse for you than other types and has been linked to heart disease. Try using 2% milk, or even better - 1% or skim.
Frozen Pot Pies
A single pot pie equals a serving of about 1300-1400 mg of sodium PLUS about 35 g of fat! Keep in mind that this is over 50% of your daily recommended values for both. The fat also includes trans fat, which you want to eliminate from your diet completely, and an unhealthy dose of saturated fat. Clear out your freezer!
Donuts may be popular, but they sure aren’t very good for your health and body. Just one donut packs in 200 calories with 12 grams of fat.
Ramen noodles are popular among college students, but they are not a healthy meal. One package of Ramen noodles adds 14 grams of fat to your day AND 1580 MG of sodium! Interestingly, it is actually the flavor packet that contains most of that sodium. (To the right is a look at the dry noodles before adding hot water).
Margarine is not necessarily bad, you just have to make sure to pick the kind with no trans fats. Read the label closely. It is important for your health to avoid trans fats all together.
Foods with extra calories and full of sugar cause you to gain weight. Obesity is a significant determinant for high blood pressure. The extra weight puts surplus strain on the heart and slows down the blood flow.
Alcohol consumption actively causes the blood pressure to elevate. It also damages the walls of the blood vessels, while simultaneously increases risks of further complications.
A healthy eating plan should include only a small amount (if any) of saturated or trans-fats. Fatty foods are bad for both the heart and blood vessels. Avoid red meat and fast food along with other fats that include hydrogenated oils.
Too much sodium does direct damage to the heart and arteries and raises blood pressure significantly.