Cut Back On Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates
A 2010 study compared a low-carb diet to a low-fat diet. The low-fat diet included a diet drug. Both diets produced weight loss, but the low-carb diet was much more effective in lowering blood pressure.
The low-carb diet lowered blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg diastolic and 5.9 mm Hg systolic. The diet of low-fat plus the diet drug lowered blood pressure by only 0.4 mm Hg diastolic and 1.5 mm Hg systolic .
A 2012 analysis of low-carb diets and heart disease risk found that these diets lowered blood pressure by an average of 3.10 mm Hg diastolic and 4.81 mm Hg systolic .
Another side effect of a low-carb, low-sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because youre consuming more protein and fat.
Worst Foods For High Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, know you’re not alone. According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults actually have high blood pressure but don’t know it, as most of the time, there aren’t many obvious symptoms. If you do have high blood pressure and it’s left untreated, your circulatory system can be severely damaged and it can lead to other serious issues such as heart attack and stroke.
There are things you can do to help control your blood pressure, and that starts with the foods you’re eating. Your best bet? To avoid the worst foods that make your blood pressure worse. So we went ahead and rounded up a list of the 13 worst foods for high blood pressure so you can eliminate these culprits from your diet once and for all. Instead, stock up on the healthy foods that help lower your blood pressure! And while you’re working toward making healthier life changes, check out What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day.
There is tons of evidence out there that high sodium intake is associated with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Potato chips are the ultimate salty snack, and if you find yourself eating potato chips regularly, you’re going to end up setting yourself up for disaster. One study found a connection between eating potato chips and an increase in heart disease.
Spotlight On High Blood Pressure
If you are concerned about high blood pressure, a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to lower blood pressure levels and reduce your risk of associated illness…
High blood pressure also known as hypertension rarely has symptoms. For most people, the only way of knowing you have high blood pressure is to have it measured. People with high blood pressure are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If you do have high blood pressure, there are ways of bringing it down, including through diet.
Don’t Miss: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
Weight Increases Blood Pressure
Overweight individuals will have high blood pressure. Losing weight significantly reduces blood pressure. People who are obese have twice the risk of developing the disorder. In addition, roughly 7 out of 10 obese adults suffer from high blood pressure. There may be noticeable improvements if you lose even 10 pounds.
Dietary advice and tips for high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure and are not overweight, here are some tips for controlling your BP.
Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013 698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
Salmon And Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon and cod are excellent sources of omega-3, which is known for promoting a healthy heart. One study found people with the highest levels of omega-3 in their blood had significantly lower blood pressure when compared with the people with lower levels of omega-3 in their bodies.
How Food Drink And Lifestyle Choices Can Affect Blood Pressure
Skip the salt
There is a link between having too much salt in your diet and having high blood pressure. Most diets have more salt than we need. The target is to have less than 6g of salt a day. Food labelling laws require salt to be presented on the label getting into the habit of checking before you buy can help you to choose lower salt versions where relevant.
Try to reduce the amount of salt you eat. This may help keep your blood pressure down. Cook without adding any salt, and avoid adding salt to your food at the table. Use herbs and spices to flavour your food instead.
The majority of the salt we eat is hidden in processed foods. Check the ingredients labels on foods to find out which have the least salt. Avoid foods that contain a lot of salt such as sauces, canned soups, processed meats, salted nuts and snacks such as crisps and biscuits. Many basic foods such as bread and cereals contain a lot of salt too.
Try our low-salt recipes:Low-salt dinner
Fruit and vegetables
Before increasing your intake of potassium, check with your doctor. Some people, for example those with kidney disease, may need to avoid both potassium and salt.
Try some of these fruit and veg-packed recipes:Mixed vegetable tagine
Try to stick to your recommended 14 units a week. Alcohol is high in calories and so can also contribute to weight gain. For more information on alcohol consumption, visit drinkaware.co.uk.
The DASH diet
Read Also: Does Spicy Food Cause High Blood Pressure
What Is High Blood Pressure
When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give the body the energy and oxygen it needs. Pressure is needed to make the blood circulate. The pressure pushes against the walls of your arteries and your blood pressure is a measure of the strength of this pushing, combined with the resistance from the artery walls.
A normal heart pumps blood around the body easily, at a low pressure. High blood pressure means that your heart must pump harder and the arteries have to carry blood thats flowing under greater pressure.
This puts a strain on your arteries and your heart, which in turn increases your risk of a heart attack, a stroke or of suffering from kidney disease2.
How To Reduce High Blood Pressure
You can lower your blood pressure by making changes to your lifestyle:
- Cut down on alcohol. Alcohol can have a serious long-term effect on blood pressure and research has shown that heavy drinking can lead to increased risk of hypertension for both men and women6.
- Healthy diet and exercise help to lower blood pressure
- Keep caffeine to a minimum: it can temporarily raise your heart rate and your blood pressure. If you regularly have more than four cups a day, its a good idea to start cutting down.
Also Check: Does Spicy Food Cause High Blood Pressure
Best And Worst Foods For Healthy Blood Pressure
Healthy blood pressure is linked to a healthy heart and a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. What you eat can directly impact your blood pressure by raising or lowering it. Read on for the best and worst foods to eat for healthy blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is referred to as the “silent killer,” because it usually has no symptoms but can develop over many years and then lead to a life-threatening event such as a heart attack or stroke.
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood flowing through blood vessels. If the force becomes too high, it raises blood pressure. It’s not entirely clear what causes high blood pressure, but it is clear that certain foods can lead to higher blood pressure. Specifically, foods high in sodium. Sodium holds onto water in the body, and the extra water puts added pressure on blood vessels, causing blood pressure to rise.
Gaining weight can also raise blood pressure, so pay attention to overall calorie intake, in addition to sodium, to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Top 13 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
Regardless of location or income level, the leading cause of death worldwide is heart disease. One of the most common conditions leading to heart disease and stroke is the all-too familiar issue of high blood pressure. A shocking one in three individuals in the United States has high blood pressure.
The good news is that high blood pressure can usually be reversed naturally, specifically through lifestyle changes and consuming foods that lower blood pressure.
Even though its closely related to dietary and lifestyle habits, many people try to rely on medication alone to solve their blood pressure problems.
One of the most popular prescription drugs for hypertension, Lisinopril, names side effects including blurred vision, confusion, dizziness and unusual tiredness or weakness.
To me, that sounds pretty undesirable for something you can easily correct with a high blood pressure diet and lifestyle changes. In fact, Im going to tell you about 13 foods, including everything from snacks to juice to herbs, that have been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure.
Don’t Miss: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
What Foods Can Lower Blood Pressure
If youve been diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure, your doctor has probably advised you to exercise and change your eating habits. According to the National Institutes of Health , eating a diet of nutrient-rich, low-sodium foods can lower blood pressure naturally. And best of all, most foods that lower blood pressure are still rich in flavor.
But what foods lower blood pressure? And will foods help lower blood pressure according to the latest American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines? Because of complications that can be found even at lower blood pressure readings, these new guidelines lower the definition of high blood pressure and eliminate the prehypertension category.
The new ACC and AHA blood pressure guidelines were published online in November 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and in November 2017 in the journal Hypertension. Under these blood pressure guidelines, the number of men in the United States with high blood pressure will triple, and the number of women will double. The guidelines are:
There is much research that supports pursuing lower blood pressure for prevention of heart disease. In one key study, participants who got their systolic pressures below 120 saw their incidence of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke fall by one-third, and the risk of death fell by nearly a one-quarter. Thats a substantial drop.
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure .
According to one clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
One 2012 review noted a study of 87 people with high blood pressure that found a diastolic reduction of 6 mm Hg and a systolic reduction of 12 mm Hg in those who consumed garlic, compared to people without any treatment (
Recommended Reading: Does Cholesterol Raise Blood Pressure
Health & Wellnesswhat’s The Best Diet Of 2021 Mediterranean Flexitarian And Dash Top List
Consider a blood pressure-lowering diet. While that phrase may conjure images of unseasoned egg whites and limp steamed veggies, getting your blood pressure into a healthy range is more than just doable it can be a downright delight. Start by adding the Eat This, Not That! approved list of blood pressure-lowering foods into your regular routine.
Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Yes, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.
But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation. The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels .
A 2010 study of 14,310 people found that individuals without hypertension who ate more dark chocolate had lower blood pressure overall than those who ate less dark chocolate (
For some people, getting a good nights sleep isnt easy. There are many ways to help you get restful sleep. Try setting a regular sleep schedule, spend time relaxing at night, exercise during the day, avoid daytime naps, and make your bedroom comfortable .
The national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Regularly sleeping less than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of hypertension long term .
Also Check: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
These Foods Offer Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure
Certain foods can help lower blood pressure naturally due to the naturally occurring compounds within them. Below are five examples of foods that may help lower blood pressure if incorporated into the diet regularly. And theres a bonus smoothie recipe using these ingredients. As with any medical issue, seek a doctors attention before making any major diet changes.
How To Tell If You Have High Blood Pressure
Due to the lack of noticeable symptoms, hypertension is a silent health condition. The only way of knowing if theres a problem is to have your blood pressure measured. You can have this done at your GP surgery, some local pharmacies, or you can buy a blood pressure monitor from the chemist.
A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers or levels, the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure: unless your doctor tells you otherwise, your blood pressure should be below 140/90mmHg5.
Read Also: Do Onions Lower Blood Pressure
Worst Foods For Healthy Blood Pressure
The Dietary Guidelines recommend eating no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, which is 1 teaspoon of salt. But, the American Heart Association has even stricter guidelines, recommending no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. The average American consumes 3,440 mg of sodium per day. Men consume more than women with an average of 4,240 mg of sodium per day compared to the average intake for women, which is 2,980 mg per day.
But don’t throw out the saltshaker just yet. Only 11% of sodium intake in the U.S. is from the saltshaker. Most is from processed foods and eating out. Here are the biggest offenders.
How To Stock Your Kitchen Healthily:
Download our free FoodSwitch app. It can help you make healthier choices when shopping. By scanning the barcode of a product the app will tell you how much salt, sugar and fat it contains and find similar but healthier alternatives.
Find out more about the foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat and the healthier options available.
Get more ideas for healthy eating from our meal plan in Positive Pressure, our members magazine.
Recommended Reading: Vodka Blood Pressure
Decrease Your Salt Intake
Salt is the enemy of high blood pressure, says Dr. Desai. When you eat too much salt, it increases the amount of fluid that enters the bloodstream and arteries from the surrounding tissue, which raises the pressure in the arteries.
While you may not have to remove salt from your diet completely, avoid foods very high in salt like chips, french fries, salted nuts, soups, store-bought salad dressings, processed foods and cheese.
Other Ways To Lower Blood Pressure
There are a variety of natural ways to lower blood pressure in addition to diet and exercise. For instance, there are several essential oils associated with a reduction in blood pressure, including:
- Bougriba oil
- Valerian oil
If youre interested in supplements that can help you reduce blood pressure, I would try cod liver oil. This anti-inflammatory powerhouse has incredible health benefits and can help to effectively lower blood pressure.
Recommended Reading: High Blood Pressure When Standing
Avoid: Bottled Salad Dressings
A healthy salad, packed full of vegetables, will do your blood pressure nothing but good until you pour the wrong salad dressing on it. While you may not think so , bottled salad dressings can be surprisingly unhealthy due to the high levels of sodium present in some products, which can wreak havoc on your blood pressure. This is particularly the case with low-fat or low-cal dressings, which add huge amounts of sodium to boost flavor. Girard’s Champagne 60-Calorie Vinaigrette, for example, may be low in calories, but contains 440 milligrams of sodium per serving nearly a quarter of your daily intake, says Eat This, Not That!.
Marzetti Fat-Free Sweet & Sour Dressing, similarly, is branded as fat-free, but contains not only 300 milligrams of sodium per serving, but also 10 grams of sugar. Sugar can play a powerful role in keeping blood pressure high, by stopping nitric oxide production, which is vital in keeping blood vessels dilated and blood pressure controlled, as Verywell Health states. Instead of reaching for unhealthy salad dressings on the shelves, you can whip up a simple vinaigrette in no time.