Today’s world is changing fast. People are so busy and time is of the essence. Never before has it been this easy to grab food on the run. But are you thinking about what is in that food and what you are putting into your body? Those salty, fatty foods everyone loves so much is ruining lives.
High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease and strokes, but it also causes kidney disease, some types of dementia and eye problems. Doctors are even shocked that children are experiencing these problems already, and if nothing is done, it is only going to get worse.
Here are some tips on which foods to avoid so that your blood pressure doesn’t soar.
Keep a close watch on how much saturated fat you are consuming daily. The recommended daily saturated fat intake for an average person is no more than 24 grams. Foods high in saturated fat include butter, vegetable shortening, cheese, processed meats and palm oil. Smarter options like low fat dairy and low fat margarine will help you avoid eating too much saturated fat.
Although salt is needed for good health, too much can be a problem. Around 75 percent of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods. It is recommended that an average adult consume no more than 2300 milligrams per day. However the American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure eat less than 1500 milligrams per day. Foods high in salt include stocks, canned soup, sauces, cured meats and snack foods like pretzels and potato chips. Try making your own soup at home to avoid the high salt content in canned soups, and be aware of how many salty snacks you are eating. Just a small handful of potato chips can have up to 15 percent of your daily sodium intake, and one 5g stock cube can contain 50 percent. It is very easy to eat too much salt without realizing it. But beware, this can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn leads to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Foods that are high in sugar cause you too gain weight. Obesity is a significant determinant for high blood pressure. It is recommended that we consume no more than 90 grams per day. Foods high in sugar include granulated sugar, soft drinks, candy, biscuits and dried fruit. These foods really need to be limited or avoided altogether. Natural sugars like honey and stevia are good alternatives if you really need something sweet occasionally.
Drinking alcohol can be good for your health but it can also be harmful. The U.S guidelines have given official permission to enjoy 1 or 2 drinks a day. But excessive amounts of alcohol actively causes your blood pressure to elevate. Also drinking too much alcohol piles on the calories, which can lead to obesity and a higher risk of health complications. So, whilst you can still enjoy that one glass of wine before dinner, remember to have a little self-discipline.
So next time you reach for the potato chips think about the consequences. You are responsible for what you put into your body. You can lower your blood pressure if you take a few different approaches to food. It’s easy. Eat healthy, nutrient rich foods that will provide your body with essential resources to help you combat high blood pressure. Remember you can still enjoy those treats in life, but everything in moderation.