8 Foods To Avoid If You Have High Blood Pressure
Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Check out our list of foods you need to banish from your plate. Also read what to eat instead.
By Monali Bordoloi
Akshay Verma, 37, leads a very hectic life. He works as an investment banker and quite often travels around the world for work. Recently, when he went for his annual health check-up, the doctor attending to him said he had hypertension. Instead of prescribing medication, the doctor advised him to change his lifestyle a little, exercise daily and tweak his diet.
In today’s fast-paced world, many of us are suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the major reasons for heart disease and stroke. The best way to keep your blood pressure level under control is to be more active and eat carefully. Certain food is known to increase blood pressure and some food groups are known to lower your blood pressure. So, it is important you must strike out certain food from your plate. Read on to know which foods you should banish from your plate.
1. Salt: If you suffer from hypertension or your blood pressure is higher than the normal, first thing you should banish from your diet is salt.
Do you know that recommended serving of salt is just one teaspoon per day? Apart from the table salt shaker, there are many items in your table which contains too much of salt.
2. Papad and pickle: If you are used to having pickle and papad with all your meal, steer clear of these if you want your blood pressure to be normal.
3.Ready-made soup: Do you know that the ready in two minutes kind of soup has lots of extra salt in it? Try making your own soup at home instead of going for ready-made ones.
4. Butter: The processed butter has lots of salt in it which is not good for hypertension. Try the unsalted version for cooking and spreading.
5. Salted snacks: Packed snacks like popcorn, potato wafers have lots of salt in it. Try to eat less of it if you are in the risk group for hypertension.
6. Chinese Food: If you love to gorge on Chinese food on weekends, think again. Most of the Chinese foods use MSG (monosodium glutamate) which is not good for hypertension.
7. Sugary food: There is a connection between sugary food and hypertension. Too much sugary food leads to weight gain and overweight people comes under high-risk groups for hypertension. So, if you aim to control your blood pressure, steer clear of candies, cupcakes, doughnuts, pastries, soft drinks.
8. Tomato ketchup: Do you reach out for the bottle of tomato ketchup to go with your dosas and pakoras? Stop that if you have hypertension or you are on the borderline. Sauces and ketchup have a higher amount of both sugar and salt.
Tips to limit your salt intake:
- If you are that type of person who reaches out for the salt shaker on the table, slowing you can break out of it.
- Try making your own food as much as possible, that way you will be using less salt than store-bought ready-made or frozen meals.
- Limit your intake of salty food like papad and pickle to occasionally.
- Don’t use readymade salad dressing. Make simple salad dressings at home with less salt.
- Try to avoid deep fried meat, these have higher salt content.
- Read food labels before buying and opt for low sodium or unsalted food.
What to eat instead?
If your blood pressure levels are just above normal but you are not on any medications, you can cut down your risk of getting hypertension by adding these foods to your diet.
- Fibrous foods: Eat food high in dietary fibre like fruits, vegetables, whole grains like daalia, whole grain bread.
- Leafy greens: Greens like spinach, amaranth are a good source of potassium which is good for flushing out sodium from our body.
- Beetroots: This bright red-coloured vegetable is a rich source of nitric oxide which is known to help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
- Garlic: Take 2-3 cloves of garlic first thing in the morning, it helps in the widening of the arteries.
- Flax Seeds: These versatile seeds are rich in Omega- 3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that flax seeds are good for lowering blood pressure levels.
With inputs from Dr Neha Sanwalka Rungta, Paediatric Nutritionist and Director of NutriCanvas.
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