Eating with High Blood Pressure – Do’s and Don’ts

Eating with High Blood Pressure - Do's and Don'ts

The way to the heart is going through the stomach. The foods we consume are powerful enough to help or cause problems with our high blood pressure. That is a result of sodium retention as one of the big factors of high blood pressure.

So, for those who have hypertension, here’s a list of foods they should stay away from, and then a list of foods they should eat more often.


1. Salt

Consuming a lot of sodium harms your heart, the arteries, and it increases the blood pressure. With the help of salt, your kidneys are capable of retaining more liquids, and that is why your blood pressure increases and affects your brain, arteries, kidneys, and heart.(1)

2. French Fries

Although there are many fast food chains that prepare their French fries in trans-fat-free oil, there are still many who do not do that.

However, consuming French fries gets you a lot of sodium and fat. To be more precise, about nineteen grams of fat there are 270 milligrams of sodium.(2)

3. Alcohol

Even though there are studies that show alcohol decreases the high blood pressure, there are other studies that say even a small dosage of alcohol may be risky.

One study from South Korea related alcohol with hypertension which was the cause of death in many people.(3) So, if you are a woman you should not drink more than one glass of alcohol per day, and if you are a man you should not have more than two drinks.

4. Soda

According to a study in the American Heart Association journal, drinks that contain sugar such as soda, as well as fruit punch, are connected to high blood pressure. (4)

People who consume diet drinks should know that studies say those drinks are linked to high risks too. If you love bubbles, you should try out jazzing seltzer up with lemon or some other fruit.

5. Red Meat

In order to have a healthy diet, you should consume just a small amount of trans or saturated fats because fatty foods are not good for your blood vessels and heart. You should stay away from fast food and red meat, as well as other foods that involve hydrogenated oils. (5)

6. Processed Meat

Packaged and processed foods contain a lot of sodium which affects our blood pressure. So, you should not consume sausage, bacon, hot dogs, bologna and other.(6)

People who have problems with their blood pressure should consume salt-free or low-salt meats such as chicken, lean beef, or turkey breast. If you are a bacon lover, make it your “special treat,” but do not involve it in your everyday diet.

7. Sugar

When you consume foods with a lot of calories and sugar, you are at risk of gaining weight, and obesity is linked to high blood pressure. (7) Being overweight puts a bigger strain on your heart and it slows down your blood flow.

8. Pickles

Pickles do not have a lot of calories, but they have a lot of sodium. A medium pickle which is about five inches long may contain about 570 milligrams of sodium which is more than a third of your daily sodium limit (2300 milligrams). (8)

9. Donuts

People adore donuts, but they should know that they are not healthy. Keep in mind that one donut has about 200 calories and 12 grams of fat.

10. Margarine

Even though margarine is made from plant, healthy oils, during the process of hydrogenation they turn into unhealthy trans-fats.

The oils are subjected to very high temperatures, and then they are injected with platinum, aluminum, or nickel to get to the solid or at least semi-solid state. So, this causes changes to the molecularity of the oils. (9)

11. Chicken Noodle Soup

This is often considered as a comfort food, but in one serving there can be about 800 milligrams of sodium which is not good.

12. Canned Biscuits

Refrigerated biscuits and crescent rolls are the foods in which it is difficult to avoid fats. One study from the Harvard School of Public Health says that trans-fats are related to an increased risk of high blood pressure in older or middle-aged women. (10)

The label may not say that there are no trans-fats, you should be careful with foods that have hydrogenated oils in the list because that means there is some trans-fat.

So, you should have dinner roll or whole-grain bread instead. However, make sure to check the label for sodium content because bread contains salt.

13. Ramen Noodles

College students like Ramen noodles because they can be prepared quickly, but they are not good for the health. A package of these noodles has fourteen grams of fat, and 1580 grams of sodium. In fact, Ramen noodles are the food that contains the most sodium. (11)

14. Frozen Pot Pies

One pot pie contains about 1300 to 1400 milligrams of sodium and 35 grams of fat. This is more than half of your recommended daily dosage for both. Also, the fat has trans-fat and saturated fats which you do not want.

15. Coffee

Just like alcohol, coffee has been shown to increase the blood pressure, so you need to be careful how much coffee or other beverages that contain caffeine you drink. (12)

16. Pizza

The Grocery Manufacturers Association says that the tasty pizza everyone loves, contribute sodium to our everyday diet. There is salt in the crust, pepperoni, sausage, sauce, and cheese, and this increases the blood pressure. So, instead of meat and cheese, choose vegetables.


If you want to lower your blood pressure, you should choose foods high in fiber such as veggies, fruits, beans, peas, whole-grain cereals, rice, and bread. Actually, you should go for whole-grain foods instead of processed. (13)

Stay away from potatoes, white bread, rice, and pasta. Foods that are whole-grain make you feel fuller, and you are safe from overeating. Also, they do not have a lot of calories but are rich in minerals and vitamins.

Vegetables and Fruits

Consuming vegetables and fruits help you have a healthy weight, and it lowers the blood pressure. (14) They have a lot of potassium which prevents the rise of blood pressure. You can eat spinach, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and lima beans.

Spices and Herbs

Instead of salt, use herbs and spices to make your food tastier. You will also get a new flavor to your plate. For instance, you can try basil for a salad, rosemary or thyme for chicken breast, oregano for meats, and sage for soups. (15)