Sauces That Increase Blood Pressure Have Been Named

Free sugar is sugar that is added to food or drinks. High blood pressure or hypertension increases the risk of heart disease and stroke due to damage to the walls of the arteries. This is often a direct result of poor lifestyle decisions made over time, such as unhealthy eating habits.

While some dietary choices are clearly unhealthy, such as overeating sweets, others pose hidden health risks. This is because free sugar is often hidden in the foods we eat. “Foods with added sugar are usually high in calories, but often have very little or no nutritional value. The extra energy can make you gain weight, which can increase your blood pressure.”

According to Body Health, condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressings contain added sugar.

Other sources include:

  • Table sugar
  • Jams and preserves
  • Confectionery sweets and chocolate
  • Fruit juices and soft drinks
  • Cookies, muffins, and cakes

You should also watch your salt intake-the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure, the NHS warns.”Try to eat less than 6 grams of salt a day, which is about a teaspoon,” advises Healthy Body.

What to eat

Some foods can counteract the harmful effects of salt, such as those rich in potassium. As the American Heart Association explains, the more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose in your urine. “Potassium also helps to relieve tension in the walls of blood vessels, which helps to further lower blood pressure.”

Fruits, vegetables, low-fat or nonfat (one percent) dairy products, and fish are good natural sources of potassium, according to Healthy Body.

Other potassium-rich foods include:

  • Apricots and apricot juice
  • Avocados
  • Cantaloupe and honeydew melon
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice (talk to your doctor if you are taking a cholesterol-lowering drug)
  • Greens
  • Halibut
  • Lima beans
  • Molasses
  • Mushroom
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Prunes and plum juice
  • Raisins and dates
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes, tomato juice, and tomato sauce
  • Tuna

Other key lifestyle interventions

Exercise also provides a strong defense against high blood pressure.

The Mayo Clinic explains: “Regular physical activity strengthens your heart. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. As a result, the force acting on your arteries is reduced, which lowers your blood pressure. As the health authority notes, regular exercise also helps maintain a healthy weight – another important way to control blood pressure.

“To maintain normal blood pressure, you need to exercise regularly,” he adds.

How to check for high blood pressure

“High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms, so the only way to know if you have it is to get your blood pressure checked.” According to the health authority, healthy adults over the age of 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years.

“If you are at increased risk of high blood pressure, you should have it checked more often, ideally once a year.”

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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