It was George Herbert who said, “whatever the father of a disease is, an ill diet was the mother”. Foods play huge roles in almost every disease you can think of today.
Another factor that makes diseases worse and untreatable is ignorance. There are certain foods you should not eat if you are hypertensive. But a lot of people (especially Nigerians) are only aware of table salt.
Table salt is highly problematic for hypertensive patients. It causes water retention in the body and other problems that can trigger or worsen hypertension.
However how simple this might be, it is the most difficult. This is because there are a lot of processed foods and drinks that contain salt. This post will open your eyes to some of these foods.
In treating hypertension, I have seen many patients complain that the drugs they are placed on are not working. When I ask further questions about their diet, I see where the problem is.
You can’t keep poisoning your system or causing more problems and expect the drugs to work. Even if you are on natural alternatives, they won’t also be effective if you keep taking in the wrong foods.
I put together this post to educate hypertensive individuals on other foods they are to avoid apart from table salt.
14 Foods to Avoid if you’re Hypertensive
1. Condiments and sauces
These include stuff like soy sauce, ketchup, salad dressings, barbeque sauce, and steak sauce. You should avoid these because they have a high content of table salt.
You can check their ingredients and confirm this yourself.
2. Canned foods
These include canned vegetables, canned soups, and other products that are sold in cans. They contain a lot of salts. These salts are added to increase their taste and for preservation.
Avoid canned foods if you want to overcome high blood pressure. Go for fresh vegetables instead. Make your own soups yourself.
3. Processed foods
These also carry a lot of salt. They are similar to canned foods. These include pizzas, frozen foods, and products. Go for freshly prepared dishes.
You know and control what goes into your body when you make your own foods by yourself. In situations where you are pressed and have no time to cook, look for low-salt versions of processed and canned foods.
4. Processed meats
These include bacon, ham, and deli meats. They are prepared by soaking them in a brine bath made of spices and saltwater. You have to avoid this even though they are highly tasty.
They have a high salt content that can make your condition uncontrollable.
Alcohol raises your blood pressure even if it is done moderately. Excess of it will raise it dramatically and also make it difficult to control. Try and quit if you are hypertensive.
Caffeine raises your blood pressure. Drinks containing caffeine are coffee, energy drinks, and teas. Healthy people can take in a moderate amount of caffeine. However, hypertensive people should avoid it completely.
7. High-fat foods
Foods high in fats might not raise your blood pressure but they can cause other problems. They can increase your risks for type II diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.
The mixture of these conditions along with hypertension will dramatically increase your risks for heart problems. Also, avoid milk and dairy products.
8. Unhealthy snacks
These include chips, cookies, crackers, jerky, nuts, etc. They are all dense in salt. The combination of salt, fat, and sugar makes them so addictive.
Also, avoid sandwiches, they are high in salt too. These include bread, cheese, and some biscuits.
9. Fast foods
Fast foods like burgers, fried chicken, fries, enchiladas, etc. are high in salt and fats. They are deficient in fiber. These would worsen your condition. Your blood pressure would suffer if you patronize these foods.
10. White bread
White bread and baked foods have high levels of sodium and saturated fats. These increase arterial blood pressure. Refined flour used in making these products also lead to other health problems.
Some of the problems caused by white flour are diabetes, weight gain, and uncontrollable high blood pressure.
11. Butter and margarine
These are loaded in salts and fats that affect the arteries. They also increase the levels of bad cholesterol. The process of homogenization these products go through also makes them harmful.
They scratch your blood vessels and the body tries to repair these by patching the affected area with cholesterol. Over time, this will make your arteries partially or completely blocked and hard.
This arterial blockage is the main cause of hypertension. These products also slow down metabolism and lead to weight gain.
12. Chlorinated water
Chlorine acts in the same way as hydrogenated oils and fats. It wounds your arteries. The body uses cholesterol to repair it. This would lead to a narrowed blood vessel.
Narrowing or obstruction of the arteries is the main cause of hypertension.
13. Sweets and sugars
These make your arteries expand at a fast rate. Over time, the arteries become weak and fragile and also prone to rupture. This leads to high blood pressure.
In cases of rupture, cholesterol is used to patch there and that can narrow your arteries. They also lead to weight gain. These also include sugary drinks, sodas, and other sweetened beverages.
These are cheap and fast foods. But they come at a great cost which you pay with your health. They have a high content of salt that leads to water retention and high blood pressure when eaten regularly.
Other chemicals in noodles also affect your metabolism and affect the control of blood pressure. Avoid noodles if you are hypertensive.
If you avoid the following foods, it would be easier to manage and even reverse this condition. The first step to healing is a healthy diet.
Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You should also consume lots of seeds and nuts. Dried beans, peas, organic poultry, and probiotics are equally good for you.
Herbs and Spices to Use in Place of Table Salt
The following herbs and spices can be used in place of table salt and they don’t have adverse side effects. Rather, they would help the condition and help you heal.
Some of them are thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley, oregano, nutmeg, marjoram, ginger, dill weed and seed, cloves, chill, cinnamon, and basil.
Don’t add salts to your pickled vegetables. You can wash the vegetables with baking soda or vinegar to kill the bacteria. Don’t add salt to the pickling liquid.