Which foods can increase high blood pressure?
One of the likely culprits in your diet that might be responsible for raising your blood pressure is salt. There is strong evidence to show that eating too much salt may have more of an effect on your blood pressure than obesity or lack of exercise.
A diet that’s high in salt can upset the normal balance of sodium in your body. This leads to fluid retention and increases your blood pressure. According to figures from Action on Salt it’s suggested that reducing your salt intake from 10g a day to 6g could reduce your blood pressure and an overall reduction in salt intake by this amount could result in a 16 per cent reduction in deaths from strokes and a 12 per cent reduction in deaths from coronary heart disease. Reducing salt is certainly one of the fastest ways to reduce your blood pressure, especially if you know that you already have high blood pressure.
A low-fat diet is recommended for most people who need to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
A lower fat diet may also help you keep your cholesterol levels low, or reduce them if you need to. High cholesterol can increase your risk of a stroke, or heart disease, and so if you already know that you have high cholesterol it’s even more important to make sure that you keep your blood pressure healthy. It can also help you lose weight.
Not all fats are bad - you can still eat foods that contain ‘good’ polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats (think oily fish, avocado and olive oil) although don’t overdo it as they can still lead to weight gain.
Try to avoid saturated fats, these are usually found in processed foods like pies and cakes, red meats, butter, palm oil and ghee.