Having healthy blood pressure means a healthy heart and decreased chances of a heart attack or stroke. While it can be helpful to take supplements, it mainly comes down to the foods you consume as they have a direct impact on blood pressure levels. If you have a blood pressure monitor, it can help you get a blood pressure measurement to see what your levels are at as well as keep it in check as you work to stabilize and acquire a healthy blood pressure. Here are some foods you should definitely be avoiding with high blood pressure:
1. Frozen meals
Although frozen meals from the grocery store are perfect to toss in the oven after you get home from a long day of work, most of them are packed with sodium—meaning they are really bad for your blood pressure. If you’re in a rush and really need a quick, frozen meal, be sure to look for ones that contain 600mg of sodium or less.
2. Salty snacks
You’ll notice a trend in this list, foods high in sodium are the ones you should be avoiding. Of course, salty snacks like chips, crackers, and salted-nuts have very high sodium levels. If you can’t seem to shake the craving of your favorite crunchy snack, try pretzels, seeds, carrots, or no-sodium nuts.
3. Pickled foods
Pickled foods, like pickles, sauerkraut, and pickled eggs, sit in juices that contain high amounts of sodium and they will absorb a lot of it. Avoid any pickled foods and their juices, or make sure your pickled foods sit in vinegar or citrus marinades to avoid all of the salt.
4. Processed and deli meat
Processed and deli meats often have significant sodium additives and are packed with saturated fats, both of which are some of the worst things for high blood pressure and heart health. Stick to fish, chicken, and other lean meats.
5. Fried food
Fried foods are definite no-go’s for people with high blood pressure as they are full of saturated fats and sodium. Instead of frying your food, steam, boil, roast, broil, or air fry your food for a much healthier option.
Alcohol isn’t full of sodium and saturated fats like other foods, but it has been shown to be associated with high blood pressure if you drink too much over time. Ultimately, it’s best not to drink at all, but if you do, it is recommended by healthcare professionals that men limit to a maximum of 2 drinks a day while women limit to a maximum of 1 a day.