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Eating habits that you should avoid if you do not want high blood pressure, experts say

High blood pressure or hypertension is a common precursor to serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. A staggering 45% of the U.S. population suffers from hypertension at all times, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, not only genetics can contribute to the risk of hypertension over time. Your eating habits play an important role in the likelihood of developing high blood pressure – and in many cases, with the right modifications, the condition can be managed or even reversed. Read on to find out which of your food choices can cause your blood pressure to sneak into dangerous territory, according to experts. And if you want to improve your health the easy way, check out the 7 healthiest foods to eat right now.

French fries

If you want to significantly reduce the risk of high blood pressure, limiting your consumption of fried foods is a great place to start.

“If you eat fried foods like fried chicken [and] French fries . . . You increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, “said Dr. Nicole Weinberg, a cardiologist at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.” The whole medicine in the world can’t compensate for the horrible way of life, “she said.

For more incentive to give up these fried foods, consider these dangerous side effects of eating fried foods, according to Science.


Sodium can affect your blood pressure – and you’re probably consuming more than you think. Approximately 90% of people in the United States consume excessive amounts of sodium, according to the CDC.

If you want to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, “reduce your optimal sodium intake by no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day,” says Dr. David Cutler, a family doctor at Providence St. John’s Health Center.

Unfortunately, salt can be found in many seemingly harmless foods. “Premixed spices often contain huge amounts of hidden sodium, with some examples being lemon pepper, garlic salt, dry rubs, and other spice mixes,” said Megan Bird, RD, of The Oregon Dietitian, who recommends creating your own without salt instead. this spice mixes.

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Men amuse with glasses of alcoholic cocktail drink whiskey soda

Not only can the liver cause chaos – it can also affect your blood pressure. Among a study of 17,000 adults in the United States, those who consumed between seven and 13 drinks a week had significantly higher levels of high blood pressure than teeth, according to a 2019 study presented by the American College of Cardiology .

“Alcohol consumption can lead to a decline in kidney function, which can lead to high blood pressure,” added Spencer Kroll, MD, FNLA, of The Kroll Medical Group.

If you are thinking of reducing alcohol consumption, look at these surprising side effects of not drinking alcohol, according to experts.

a blonde woman who eats a cookie and reads
Shutterstock / Ollyy

If you want to raise your blood pressure in a healthier range, limiting your sugar intake is a good start.

“Sugar is inflammatory and increases cardiovascular risk,” explains Alexandra Lajoy, MD, a non-invasive cardiologist at Providence St. John’s Health Center.

In fact, the consumption of added sugars is significantly associated with high blood pressure in children, according to a 2014 review of a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

a man who eats a sandwich

Looking for more incentive to make Meatless Mondays part of your routine? Skipping these animal protein-based meals may just be the key to lowering your blood pressure.

Delicatessen meat contributes mainly to blood pressure problems, according to Alicia Galvin, RD, a nutritionist at Sovereign Laboratories. “Processed delicacies and lunches are high in sodium,” says Galvin. “This is because producers treat, season and preserve these meats with salt, and one serving can have almost half of your daily sodium needs.”

Regardless of the sodium content, cooking meat at high temperatures contributes to a high risk of blood pressure, according to a study presented at the 2018 meeting of the American Heart Association.

Want to start making smarter choices with your favorite proteins? Check out the 30 best and worst packaged meat delicacies.

black licorice in a white bowl
Shutterstock / Hong Woo

Although it may seem strange if you eat a significant amount of licorice, you can send your blood pressure to dangerous territory.

“Glycyrrhizin [in licorice] it can make your heart rate go abnormally and raise your blood pressure, ”says Alexandra Soare, RD, of Food on Mars.

Soare notes, however, that this usually happens when someone consumes more than 100 milligrams of glycyrrhizin a day or more than most people eat with a moderate intake of licorice. If you are eager to improve your health, discover these side effects of giving up sugar, according to Science.

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