We Offer COVID-19 Testing! Call Our Office to Schedule Your Visit.
Skip to main content

Foods and Drinks to Limit if You Have High Blood Pressure

Foods and Drinks to Limit if You Have High Blood Pressure

As we go about our busy lives, few of us contemplate that every moment, our blood fuels our bodies’ functions and performs many critical tasks. These include delivering nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, protecting us from infections, and even regulating body temperature, among other things.

When we talk about blood pressure, this refers to the force with which blood hits the walls of our arteries as it’s pumped through our bodies. When this force becomes too much, it leads to serious health problems, including, heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. 

Dr. Gurprit Sekhon is dedicated to treating patients with high blood pressure and helping to lower their risk of hypertension-related complications. This widespread health problem affects nearly half of Americans. The same percentage of Floridians is impacted by high blood pressure too, unfortunately.

Lifestyle changes are important in lowering blood pressure, such as exercising more and eating better. In this month’s post, we’ll talk about foods that raise your blood pressure and that you should avoid, as well as what to eat instead.

The high cost of high blood pressure

We talked about the serious health perils of high blood pressure, but another frightening reality is that the condition is symptomless. You can live with hypertension for a long time — while it does its devastating damage — yet be completely in the dark. 

This is why it’s critical to have a conversation with Dr. Sekhon at your annual wellness visit about your blood pressure. If she finds that your blood pressure is elevated, how can you adjust your diet to support your health? 

High blood pressure diet don'ts

1. Watch your salt intake

Too much salt causes your body to retain fluids, which raises your blood pressure. This is why the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people limit their sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams per day.

Salt lurks in many packaged foods that you wouldn’t necessarily suspect are harmful. These include breads and rolls, deli meats, canned soups, and frozen pizza. Ditto for preserved foods like pickles — just a single, small pickled cucumber contains a whopping 448 milligrams of sodium!

2. Sugar isn’t your friend, either

Although much is said about the dangers of sodium with regard to high blood pressure, sugar also poses risks and problems. For example, many people consume sugar in the form of sweetened drinks and sodas, and these beverages contribute to being overweight or obese. Obesity, in turn, makes you more likely to develop high blood pressure. 

If you struggle with your weight, we offer medically assisted weight loss, which addresses many health conditions, including hypertension.

The AHA advises that females consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day (about six teaspoons) and males no more than 36 grams, or nine teaspoons. 

Sugar sneaks into many foods we eat, just like salt. Try to avoid sugary soft drinks, white bread, flavored yogurts, granola, certain brands of nut butters, and condiments like ketchup and bottled salad dressing. 

The best way to steer clear of both unwanted sugar and salt is to read labels carefully when you shop.

3. Watch your alcohol intake

Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure, and in our society, many social events and celebrations revolve around alcohol. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure now, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is associated with a lower risk for high blood pressure later. 

Women should aim for no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day in order to keep their blood pressure in check, and newer research is revealing that no amount of alcohol consumption is good for a person’ health. 

So what should I eat to lower my blood pressure?

We know we just outlined all the things you shouldn’t eat or drink that raise your blood pressure, so you might wonder what’s left. Luckily, plenty.

If you stick to a diet that includes plentiful fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, fish and poultry, legumes, and nuts and seeds, you’ll be doing yourself a favor — and keeping your blood pressure steady. 

Of course, some people’s blood pressure remains high even when they change their lifestyle habits. In that case, Dr. Sekhon still advises you to eat well and exercise, but she can also offer you prescription medications that help to lower blood pressure. 

If you live with hypertension, Dr. Sekhon monitors your blood pressure regularly, counsels you about what you can do to lower it, and explains what a normal blood pressure is — a reading of 120 mm Hg/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) or less. 

Call Nu Wave Medical Center to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sekhon to learn more about your blood pressure and how to manage it, or request one online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Reasons You’re Struggling to Lose Weight

4 Reasons You’re Struggling to Lose Weight

After many failed diets, losing weight may feel like a losing proposition. Unfortunately, there are some things we do that sabotage our success at being “losers.” Learn more about these and how your doctor can be a winning weight loss partner, here.
How to Treat Urinary Incontinence Without Surgery

How to Treat Urinary Incontinence Without Surgery

Urinary incontinence is uncomfortable and embarrassing. Learn about the different types of incontinence and why they happen, as well as an exciting high-tech treatment to relieve your unpleasant symptoms here.
Why Is My Cholesterol High Even Though I Eat Healthy?

Why Is My Cholesterol High Even Though I Eat Healthy?

High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke, and most people can lower their levels with dietary changes and exercise. But what if eating healthier doesn’t help? Learn why this happens and what can help, here.
Should I Lose Weight Before Emsculpt NEO?Ⓡ

Should I Lose Weight Before Emsculpt NEO?Ⓡ

If you’re frustrated by stubborn fatty spots and bumps that refuse to budge no matter how conscious you are of your diet or how much you exercise, there’s an innovative body contouring treatment available for which you may be a candidate. Learn more here.
4 Subtle Signs of Climbing Blood Pressure

4 Subtle Signs of Climbing Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is known as “the silent killer,” but there are actually signs that point to it if you know what to look for. It’s critical to know your blood pressure and to manage it effectively if it’s elevated. Learn more here.