What are the top 10 bad foods for high blood pressure patients?
We are living in a world that is surrounded by many health issues and risks. These issues and risks are mainly associated with our lifestyle and dietary habits including bad foods for high blood pressure patients. The common examples of such issues are High Blood pressure, Heart Attack, Obesity, and Diabetes. All such issues and risks are totally in your own hands either you keep them or remove them.
We have listed here the top 10 bad foods for high blood pressure patients. The rule of nature says eat to live but the fact is we live to eat. The control of your taste buds on your dietary habits is your real enemy.
Let me tell you something; I got a chance to meet with a very prominent personality in the healthcare world. Dr. SM Tuli, a very senior and finest orthopedic doctor. He stated “Eat little to live more”, I was very impressed with his words and realized, yes this is the fact of life.
Am I an enemy of myself?
You will surprise to know that all the foods those are listed below are very tempting. The impulse of the temptation surpasses the willing power you eat, actually what you should not.
Can you imagine, what is the major cause of death in the world? The lifestyle diseases are Obesity, hypertension, blood sugar, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and many more. We are very advanced in the field of medical science but we are killing ourselves by own.
Now you have to decide; whether you want to choose good health and long-life or wish to spend your hard-earned money on medical bills? The choice is yours; whether want to go with your taste buds or your brain.
Let’s come to the topic and discuss these top 10 bad foods for high blood pressure patients.
List of top 10 Bad Foods for Hypertension Patients
Following are the top bad foods for high blood pressure patients:
- Animal Fat and Fatty Foods
- Refined Sugar
- Salt on Your Table
- Processed and Packed Foods
- Processed Cheeses
- Canned and bottled Soups
- Red Meat
- Soda and Soft Drinks
- High alcohol intake
- Food contains high Caffeine
1. Animal Fat and Fatty Meals are bad food for hypertension
Fat is the most important part of your diet to work your body functions properly. Fat plays an important role in your food and helps in absorbing the other nutrients from the food you eat. There are 2 types of fat in our food.
- Saturated Fat
- Unsaturated Fat
Animal fat is a type of saturated fat and produces cholesterol in your body which is considered a bad food for blood pressure. Saturated fats are converted into cholesterol in your liver. If you eat too much red meat or animal fat will raise cholesterol levels in your blood. A high level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood causes narrowing of arteries.
Blood flow decreases in the narrowed arteries which causes hypertension. High blood pressure can cause other heart diseases and stroke too. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels in your blood work as catalysts together and further increases the risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis can be defined as the deposition of fatty contents/cholesterol on the inner wall of arteries. Moreover, if you are a diabetic and a smoker then sitting on mine explodes your blood pressure further.
You must keep an eye on your fat intake to reduce the risk of hypertension. The recommended quantity of saturated fat is 30 gm per day.
2. Refined Sugar is bad food for high blood pressure patients
New researches and studies suggest that high sugar intake is considerably worse for blood pressure than salt in your diet. Food additive sugars and refined sugar are more dangerous to your health. High blood sugar consumption increases the insulin levels in the blood which reduces the sensitivity of insulin.
- High insulin levels in the blood reduce the sensitivity of the receptors that regulates your blood pressure. Blood vessels constrict when the insulin levels are high blood pressure regulatory receptors sensitivity is low.
- Moreover High level of insulin in the blood activates the sympathetic nervous system. The activated sympathetic nervous system causes a high heart rate which leads to blood pressure.
A Twenty four hours Ambulatory blood pressure study was done on a group of patients. A high sugar diet was given to one group and a high salt diet to another group for two weeks.
- A study indicates the rise in blood pressure of around 7mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 5mmHg in diastolic blood pressure in the group who was given high sugar diet.
- However, the systolic blood pressure rose by 4mmHg and Diastolic rose by 2mmHg in the group who was given high salt diet.
Refined sugar is one of the bad food for hypertension patients. It is advisable and recommended to keep an eye on both and take low salt and low sugar diet if you are hypertensive.
3. Salt on Your Table is a culprit for high blood pressure
Table salt is on top of the list of bad foods for hypertension patients. Kidneys are filtering units of our body and filter around 200 liters of blood every day. A high salt diet impacts the filtering process of kidneys and restricts the removal of fluid from the body. High salt intake increase fluid retention and causes high blood pressure.
High blood pressure causes stiffness and narrowing of arteries further. This causes low blood flow and oxygen to the body organs. Low oxygen levels in different organs demands more oxygen from heart. In this phenomenon the heart tries harder to pump more blood to these organs, leading to a further increase in blood pressure.
High blood pressure causes heart attack and stroke. Moreover, high salt diet damage kidneys further which further increases blood pressure.
4. Processed and Packed Foods are bad food for hypertension
Easy access to packed and processed food mark it to the list of bad foods for high blood pressure patients. Most Processed foods like baked items, ready meals, and ready meat, etc. need some degree of processing. The bad effect of processed foods depends on the type of processing. Chemically processed foods are more harmful than mechanically processed foods. Chemically processed foods are also called Ultra-processed foods.
Few Examples of Chemically Processed Foods:
- Ice-cream and candies
- Instant noodles and chips
- Packaged breads
- Frozen and ready meals
- Baked goods like pastries and cakes
- Pizza and Burgers
- Sodas and other sweet cold drinks
- Fish fingers, nuggets, and reconstituted meats
Ultra-Processed foods are rich in trans fats, refined carbohydrates, coloring agents and other artificial ingredients. Processed and packed foods are the major cause of obesity in young adults. Obesity causes narrowing of arteries which accelerates blood pressure and other cardiac ailments.
The combination of obesity, hypertension and high consumption of processed food is a big risk for life.
5. Processed Cheeses is considered a bad food for high blood pressure
Cheeses contain very high contents of cholesterol, fats, and sodium. Eating too many cheeses is a major cause of hypertension and other heart diseases. Processed cheeses are more harmful than natural dairy products and are listed in the category of bad food for hypertension patients.
For example, processed cheese contains around 1400 milligrams of sodium in 100 grams of serving, and natural dairy product’s cheese contains half around 650 milligrams of sodium in the same serving size of cheese.
Cholesterol and fats are the culprits for narrowing the arteries while sodium increases blood pressure further by affecting kidneys functions.
6. Canned and Bottled Soups can raise your blood pressure
Canned products with added salts are big problem for people with hypertension. Tomato juices, soups and Pasta sauces contains somewhere around 100 to 250 milligram of salt in each serving. High slat contents in canned soups are the culprit to increase blood pressure that’s why it’s categorized under bad food for high blood pressure patients category.
However, fresh tomatoes are very good for the heart and health but if canned in the form of soups with added salts become bad food for high blood pressure patients.
7. Red Meat is a bad food for hypertension patients
Red meat is a good source of animal protein which is necessary for your body function. The metabolism of red meat by intestinal bacteria produces trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) which causes high blood pressure. It’s considered that TMAO could be a hypertensive component of red meat.
People who ate red meat daily in their meals, their heart’s functions disturbed due to high blood pressure and stiffed ventricles. This is the reason to list red meat into the category of bad food for hypertension patients.
On other hand the people who ate fish more, their heart functions better. It is advised to cut red meat from your meal and increase the fish portions to improve the function of your heart.
8. Soda and Soft Drinks increases blood pressure
Excessive consumption of soft drinks and soda is associated with high blood pressure, further increased by diet sodas. A study done on 20 young age volunteers revealed that the population who drank diet soda had high blood pressure than those who drank soft drinks without soda.
Do you know when you sip any soda drink; neurotransmitters like dopamine and glutamate are released in your brain’s reward Centre?
The chemicals in diet soda activate your brain’s reward Centre to release neurotransmitters and convince your brain to carve it again and again to feel the same taste of joy which you had with the first sip. This is the reason, you love to sip soda based soft drinks over and over.
9. High Alcohol Intake can be a risk for hypertensive patients
This is the fact that drinking too much of alcohol can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Consuming 3 drinks in one sitting is enough to increase your blood pressure levels. This increase in blood pressure can be short-term or long term too. However. Heavy drinking is always associated with a long-term increase in blood pressure and Liver Failure.
it’s recommended to limit yourself up to 2 drinks per day if you are a man; only 1 drink in a day if you are a female. This habit will help in boosting your heart and kidney functions.
10. Food that Contains High Caffeine is bad for hypertension
This is always a hot topic to discuss whether coffee is good for health or bad? The association between caffeine and hypertension is a subject of debate. It is proven that coffee can increase noticeable blood pressure but temporary even you are not hypertensive.
Around 100-200 mg of caffeine you consume from a cup of coffee, which increases systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg and 3 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. You must have noticed that sometimes your doctor advices a cup of coffee if your blood pressure is low.
It is also proven that coffee increases blood pressure in people who are not used to it but do not affect much to regular coffee drinkers. So if you are a hypertensive patient, it’s best to talk to your doctor about whether you should stop drinking or limit your coffee.
Good Foods For High Blood pressure Patients
- Citrus Fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit
- Sea Food/Fatty Fish
- Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds
- Lentils and Beans
- Green Leafy vegetables
- Low salt and low fat foods
A balanced diet and your life style is utmost important thing to keep your heart healthy and control your blood pressure. You should always avoid bad food for hypertension as detailed above. Increase the portion of foods in your meal are good for high blood pressure patients.
Routine cardiac workup and exercises are another most important thing to do to control your blood pressure and blood sugar too.
If your blood pressure is controlled you are away from the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Thank you for reading
Dr Musharraf Husain