It is not uncommon for many people to be confused by high blood pressure and high cholesterol foods. There are so many different types of foods that affect your health it can be difficult to keep track of everything. Most often hypertension and high blood pressure are confused with a heart attack. However, the two conditions are actually quite different. If you suffer from hypertension, you do not have to lose your breath over large amounts of fatty food or have a heart attack.
There are three big culprits of high blood pressure and they are fat, cholesterol and sugar. Most Americans eat way too much sugar and fat. This is caused mainly by our love affair with white flour products such as bread and pasta. Trans fats, which are mostly found in fast foods, contribute to the problem even more because they make you fat and increase your cholesterol.
Caffeine, aspartame and phenytoin are common additives used in artificial sweeteners and coffee. Each of these compounds can raise your blood pressure for at least twenty minutes after you consume them. Citrus fruits are extremely high in citric acid and another form of antioxidant, flavonoids. Both of these substances lower your pressure.
A diet for high blood pressure naturally can include a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. Avoid processed meats as much as possible and use high fiber foods as a substitute. Some good choices include beans, nuts, lentils and whole grains. Also avoid trans fats as much as possible.
Another way to lower blood pressure naturally is to get rid of the amount of salt you take in each day. Sodium is a cheap and easy to obtain chemical that is involved in many things from food to medications to medical equipment. You should also limit the amount of animal protein you eat.
Potassium is found in bananas and legumes, but you won’t get enough if you don’t include it in your daily diet. In fact, the best dietary approaches to hypertension are dietary approaches with a focus on potassium. High potassium diets have been shown to be effective in controlling hypertension. This dietary approach works because potassium helps control your sodium levels.
The most nutritious, high potassium foods are fresh vegetables, and especially dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach. These vegetables help lower blood pressure by reducing both the amount of potassium absorbed and the sodium excreted. Spinach, tomatoes, and brussels sprouts are high in potassium and eating six servings a day of these vegetables is enough to help you reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. Of course, you should eat lots of fruits too, but if you can’t eat too much fruit in your diet, you should limit your intake of vegetables to just four to five servings a day.
Reducing your consumption of saturated fat is a great way to start on your high blood pressure diet. Foods high in saturated fat increase your cholesterol and lowering your cholesterol improves your coronary health. Some foods high in saturated fat are cookies, cakes, fast food, chips, chocolate, and more. If you can’t eat anything made with butter, try eating oatmeal, avocados, walnuts, canola oil, or other nuts instead.
Lowering your sodium intake is also a great way to lower your blood pressure. Sodium causes fluid retention and can cause a surge in blood pressure when you consume large amounts. To lower your sodium intake, avoid sodium-laden foods such as canned goods, canned tuna, full-fat meat, and salt. Also, make sure to get plenty of water. You can get this from juices, fruit smoothies, and other fresh drinks.
Finally, there’s one food group that’s pretty high in everyone’s diet: sweets! Not only do sugary foods contribute to high blood pressure, they also negatively impact your health in other ways. They can worsen diabetes and may promote erectile dysfunction. If you’re a diabetic or if you want to prevent erectile dysfunction, cutting out sugar from your diet is key. If you have diabetes or erectile dysfunction, getting plenty of exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and cutting back on sugary foods is absolutely critical.
In short, refined and processed foods are major culprits when looking for the causes of high blood pressure. Substitute healthier alternatives like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains for your daily meals and you’ll improve your health and avoid health problems. In the end, you’ll look and feel better, even if just a little. By eating right, you’ll help control your blood pressure and improve your health.