HIGH blood pressure is a common condition that can lead to serious and even life-threatening conditions if left untreated. However, ones’ diet can play a big part in increasing and decreasing blood pressure, and the following six foods you may want to avoid to lower your reading.
High blood pressure affects one in four adults in the UK, but many people don’t know they have the condition. This is because symptoms are rarely noticeable. The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure regularly checked, either by your general practitioner (GP) or local pharmacist or using a blood pressure monitor at home. Having high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of getting complications, including a heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease. So therefore what can you do to keep blood pressure in check?
High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by eating healthily like we made mention of earlier. As part of a healthy diet, the National Health Service (NHS) advises cutting down on the amount of salt in food. This is because salt raises blood pressure – the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. Blood Pressure UK explains: “Salt makes your body retain water. If you eat too much, the extra water stored in the body raises your blood pressure.” In the UK for example, an adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day, but most people eat much more than this. The reason why is because most of the salt we eat every day is hidden.
The British Dietetics Association states: “Many everyday foods are not obviously salty, but they can contain high amounts of ‘hidden salt. While we nay add salt to our food during cooking or just before we eat it, about 75 per cent of the salt we eat is already added to the food we buy.” So which foods contain hidden salt and should be avoided? The dietetics body lists six foods to be “salt aware” of:
- Salted meats
- Ready-made soups
- Takeaway meals
- Pasta sauce
To counteract the negative impact of salt on blood pressure, it’s important to eat foods rich in potassium. The American Heart Association says: “The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine. Potassium also helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which helps further lower blood pressure.” Meanwhile, potassium is found in fruit and vegetables, as well as tuna, eggs, almonds, mushrooms and wholemeal pasta.