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8 surprising foods that increase blood pressure

If you deal with high blood pressure, or hypertension, then you probably already know that a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to manage it.

It’s important to consume whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. Additionally, you should avoid things high in sugar and sodium, which is one of the top dietary factors linked to high blood pressure.

We understand that managing any chronic health condition can seem overwhelming and high blood sure is no different. To help know what to avoid, here’s a list of 8 foods that can increase blood pressure

1. Table salt

If you are trying to follow a low-sodium diet, this seems like an obvious one, but it needs to be said. A lot of people reach for the salt shaker by habit when preparing meals and snacks, but it should be very limited or avoided altogether when dealing with high blood pressure.

2. Certain condiments and sauces

When replacing table salt, do not fall into the trap of substituting certain condiments instead. Things like ketchup, soy sauce, salad dressing, barbecue sauce, and steak sauce all have a lot of sodium in them. Other places salt can be hidden is in pasta sauce and gravy.

3. Foods with saturated and trans fat

There are healthy fats you can have in your diet even with high blood pressure, but saturated and trans fats are not among them. Things fried in a lot of oils or meats that have a lot of fat are bad for both blood pressure and cholesterol. If you consume a lot of dairy, switch to low-fat versions. And be careful of cheeses with high salt content.

4. Fried food

Fried foods contain a lot of saturated fat and salt, both of which you should avoid when you have high blood pressure. Grilling, baking, and sautéing are all good alternatives to frying. Air-fryers have become popular and are a good option as long as you pay attention to the salt content of what you’re cooking in the first place.

5. Fast food

If you’re following any kind of nutritional guidelines, fast food is a bad idea all-around. A lot of the food served at fast-food restaurants is processed and frozen, then cooked by frying or cooking in high-fat oils. Additionally, they are often heavily salted. Because these are foods that increase blood pressure, they should be avoided.

7. Deli meats and cured meats

Another food full of sodium is deli meat. Lunch meats are often preserved, cured or seasoned with salt, making them high in sodium. Cured meats like bacon are off-limits too.

8. Caffeine

Coffee, tea, energy drinks, and soda all contain caffeine, which is known to increase blood pressure. People with hypertension should limit their caffeine intake. If you are a coffee lover, try switching to half-caff coffee, or decaf if you can’t give it up completely. There are also caffeine-free teas available and certain varieties of tea have very low amounts of caffeine naturally.

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