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10 Foods That Put Your Blood Pressure Through the Roof

10 Foods That Put Your Blood Pressure Through the Roof

Blood pressure can be controlled through diet and avoiding these foods

Diet can play a very important role in the treatment and control of blood pressure.

It is important to be aware of foods that are more likely to affect our blood pressure in a negative way. Many social activities involve eating and drinking with friends and family, and so it is essential to understand which foods to avoid and which foods should be approached with moderation.

Many studies have concluded that hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects more than 31 percent of all Americans and accounts for nearly 38 million doctor visits annually. High blood pressure accounts for nearly 26,000 deaths in the U.S. annually and is a leading risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

Diet can play a major role in the development of high blood pressure. Diets high in fat and calories can result in obesity, which is a common risk factor for the development of high blood pressure. By the same token, diet can also play a very important role in the treatment and control of blood pressure. In many cases, patients who focus on weight loss and diet can actually begin to be able to stop chronic medications that have been prescribed for control of hypertension. (It is essential that patients never start or stop any prescription medication without a doctor’s supervision.)

Hypertension is a treatable risk factor for heart disease. By working closely with your doctor to modify your diet, you can prevent many of the negative health consequences of high blood pressure. Check out these top foods to avoid that may cause an increase in blood pressure.

- Dr. Kevin R. Campbell MD, FACC

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

Originally published 11/20/13


BLOG: 10 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

When it comes to a heart-healthy, blood pressure friendly diet there’s a lot of “no.” No red meat, no salt, no sweets—It’s enough to send your stress levels through the roof (which is also bad for your blood pressure).

The bad news is there’s no single secret of how to lower blood pressure to a healthy level, which according to the American Heart Association is less than 120/80 mm Hg. The good news is that the dietary path to a healthier heart has a whole lot of “yes.”

We put together a list of just a few of the “yes” foods to help you reduce and control your blood pressure.

10 HEART-HEALTHY FOODS

Pistachios


These addictive, snack-time favorites are packed with healthy fats that taste good and are good for you. Just be sure to lose the salt. If you’re not a fan of pistachios or you’re just looking for variety, other tree nuts, like almonds and walnuts, are also great for reducing blood pressure, both the systolic and diastolic readings (the upper and lower numbers).

Spinach


This one may seem obvious, but how familiar are you with spinach’s super powers? Not only does it deliver good stuff like folic acid and potassium, it also flushes out the bad stuff, like excess sodium. Popeye’s penchant aside, spinach isn’t the only green with these super powers. Basically, if it’s green, leafy, and (preferably) raw, your heart will thank you.

Blueberries

Pretty much everything in this pint-sized superfood is working to make your heart healthy. Potassium and antioxidants keep your blood pumping. Even the color, a pigment called anthocyanin, helps keep arteries wide and flexible. That means they not only lower your blood pressure, but also improve your overall heart health.

Yogurt


If all this blueberry talk has you thinking about parfaits, we have some good news. Low-fat yogurt, and all its calcium-rich goodness is a great food to reduce your blood pressure. Calcium helps keep your blood vessels working like they should. That means you can layer on the heart-healthy and guilt-free goodness.

Apples


“An apple a day helps to lower blood pressure naturally,” doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it’s just as true. Even if your blood pressure is where it should be, the antioxidants in this sweet treat help to stave off issues down the road.

Figs


This fruit of the ficus often gets overlooked unless it’s followed by Newton. Excess sodium in the diet can lead to potassium deficiency, which causes high blood pressure. Rich in potassium, figs restore balance and help lower blood pressure. This sweet, chewy, and slightly crunchy fruit deserves to break free of the cookie and into your heart-healthy diet.

Olive Oil


This kitchen essential can be a real lifesaver. Packed into this multitasker’s arsenal is a whole bunch of fatty acids and antioxidants. Polyphenols, a protective antioxidant, keeps your blood vessels flexible and help lower high blood pressure. Use it as a butter replacement and you’ll reap even more benefits on your path to reducing your blood pressure.

Garlic


When it’s not warding off vampires and bringing some serious flavor to the party, garlic helps to give your heart a break. This beautiful bulb can boost nitric oxide levels, which helps your blood vessels relax. That means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.

Green Tea


Caffeine addicts, rejoice! Often labeled as a troublemaker, caffeine finds its redemption in tea. While a single cup won’t do much, long-term intake can noticeably reduce your blood pressure and your risk of stroke and coronary artery disease. Green tea is best, but you’ll also get these benefits from black tea.

Dark Chocolate


Yes, there is a catch. Like all good things, chocolate is better in moderation, or at least it is better for you. That being said, a bite of dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao) contains antioxidants that have been shown to help lower blood pressure. Just don’t be tempted to eat the whole bar!

With options this diverse and delicious, it’s easy to say yes to a heart-healthy diet. Of course, nutrition is only part of the picture. Regular exercise and any medication, both prescribed by your doctor, can work with these super foods to help reduce blood pressure.


Beating high blood pressure with food

Fiddling with diet to control cholesterol makes perfect sense. After all, some of the cholesterol that ends up in arteries starts out in food. Changing your diet to control blood pressure doesn't seem quite so straightforward. Yet food can have a direct and sometimes dramatic effect on blood pressure.

Salt certainly plays a role. But there is far more to a blood pressure–friendly diet than minimizing salt intake. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, beans, nuts, whole-grain carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats also have healthful effects on blood pressure.

There isn't a single "magic" food in this list. Instead, it's the foundation for an all-around healthful eating strategy that is good for blood pressure and so much more. Rigorous trials show that eating strategies such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, DASH variants like the OmniHeart diet, and Mediterranean-type diets lower blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure) and those headed in that direction. They also help prevent some of the feared consequences of high blood pressure.

Why bother?

Hypertension is the ultimate stealth condition. You'd never know you have it without having your blood pressure measured — or until high blood pressure begins to damage vital organs.

Half of the 65 million American adults with high blood pressure don't have it under control. That's worrisome given the insidious consequences of high blood pressure. It is the leading cause of stroke in the United States. It contributes to thousands of heart attacks. It overworks heart muscle, leading to heart failure. It damages the kidneys, erodes sight, interferes with memory, puts a damper on sexual activity, and steals years of life.


The DASH Diet

High blood pressure patients are often recommended to follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet.

It outlines what foods lower blood pressure absent the use of prescribed medication. This eating plan contains healthy and nutritious foods with the main focus on portion control. Foods most highly recommended are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

  • A lifelong commitment to healthy eating
  • Relying on consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Switching to low-fat or fat-free products under the categories of diary, poultry, fish, vegetable oils, and nuts
  • Limiting, or avoiding, high-sugar snacks, products high in saturated fat, and cooking oils such as palm oil

Hypertension and Nutrition

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries (blood vessels) which carry the blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, means the pressure in your arteries is above the normal range. In most cases, no one knows what causes high blood pressure. What you eat can affect your blood pressure.

How does nutrition affect blood pressure?

  • Certain foods can increase blood pressure.
  • Certain foods can lower blood pressure.
  • Gaining weight can increase blood pressure.
  • Losing weight can reduce blood pressure.

What should I eat to control high blood pressure?

  • Eat foods lower in fat, salt, and calories.
  • Use spices and herbs, vinegar, lemon or fruit juices instead of salt to flavor foods.
  • Use less oil, butter, margarine, shortening, and salad dressings.

What are some of the foods I should eat?

  • Skim or 1% milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt (calcium-rich foods can lower blood pressure).
  • Lean meat.
  • Skinless turkey and chicken.
  • Low-salt, ready-to-eat cereals.
  • Cooked hot cereal (not instant).
  • Low-fat and low-salt cheeses.
  • Fruits (fresh, frozen, or canned without added salt).
  • Vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned, no added salt).
    • Richly colored green, orange, and red items are high in potassium and minerals that help lower blood pressure.
    • The goal is 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

    Unsalted seeds (pumpkin, squash, sunflower) and unsalted nuts are mineral-rich foods that lower blood pressure.

    What foods should I eat less of?

    • Butter and margarine.
    • Regular salad dressings.
    • Fatty meats.
    • Whole milk dairy products.
    • Fried foods.
    • Salted snacks.
    • Canned soups.
    • Fast foods.
    • Deli meats.

    What's the difference between sodium and salt?

    Salt is mostly sodium, a mineral that occurs naturally in foods. Sodium is the substance that may cause your blood pressure to increase. Other forms of sodium are also present in food. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is another example of a sodium added to food (common in Chinese food).

    How does salt increase blood pressure?

    When you eat too much salt, which contains sodium, your body holds extra water to "wash" the salt from your body. In some people, this may cause blood pressure to rise. The added water puts stress on your heart and blood vessels.

    How much sodium is too much?

    The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily sodium intake no more than 1,500 milligrams. (A teaspoon of salt has about 2,400 milligrams of sodium.) Most people greatly exceed these sodium guidelines.

    How can I reduce my sodium intake?

    • Don't use table salt.
    • Read nutrition labels and choose foods lower in sodium.
    • Choose foods marked "sodium-free," "low sodium," and "unsalted."
    • Use salt substitutes (ask your healthcare provider first).
    • Don't use lite salt as a substitute.
    • Read content labels. (Contents are listed in order of greatest amount.)
    • Purchase sodium-free herbs and seasoning mixes like Mrs. Dash®.

    What foods are high in sodium?

    • Processed foods such as lunch meats, sausage, bacon, and ham.
    • Canned soups, bouillon, dried soup mixes.
    • Deli meats.
    • Condiments (catsup, soy sauce, salad dressings).
    • Frozen and boxed mixes for potatoes, rice, and pasta.
    • Snack foods (pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, chips).
    • Pickled or marinated food in brine. (Vinegar- and lemon juice-based marinades are ok.)

    What else should I do to change my diet?

    • Avoid alcohol.
    • Eat a variety of foods.
    • Eat foods high in dietary fiber (whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, fresh fruit, and vegetables).

    Comparison of Sodium in Foods

    Meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish

    Food: Milligrams (mg.) sodium

    Fresh meat, 3 oz. cooked: Less than 90 mg

    Shellfish, 3 oz: 100 to 325 mg

    Dairy products

    Skim or 1% milk, 1 cup: 125 mg

    *Buttermilk (salt added), 1 cup: 260 mg

    *Cheddar cheese, 1 oz : 175 mg

    Low-fat cheese, 1 oz.: 150 mg

    *Cottage cheese (regular), 1/2 cup: 455 mg

    Fresh or frozen vegetables, and no-salt-added canned (cooked without salt), 1/2 cup: Less than 70 mg

    Vegetables canned or frozen (without sauce), 1/2 cup: 55-470 mg

    Tomato juice, canned, 3/4 cup: 660 mg

    Breads, cereals, rice and pasta

    English muffin (half): 130 mg

    Ready-to-eat, shredded wheat, 3/4 cup: Less than 5 mg

    Cooked cereal (unsalted), 1/2 cup: Less than 5 mg

    Instant cooked cereal, 1 packet: 180 mg

    Canned soups, 1 cup: 600-1,300 mg

    Convenience foods

    Canned and frozen main dishes, 8 oz: 500-1,570 mg

    *These can also be high in saturated fat, unless low-fat or reduced fat options are purchased.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2014.

    References

    • American Heart Association. Sodium and Salt Accessed 12/17/2014.
    • Frisoli TM, Schmieder RE, Grodzicki T, Messerli FH. Salt and hypertension: is salt dietary reduction worth the effort?. Am J Med. 2012125(5):433-9.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sodium and Food Sources Accessed 12/17/2014.

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy


    You have to make sure it’s skinless or you’ll be adding way too much fat, and calories toy our meal.

    Skinless chicken breast is a lean protein that is a staple in the fitness world for being a great food that can be used in nutrition plans to build muscle or lose weight.

    High protein meals will keep you fuller longer to keep you from eating unwanted calories plus they burn a large portion of their calories during digestion.

    A 200 calorie chicken breast will take 70 calories to break it down during digestion.


    Why Is Jaggery (Or Gur) Good For Your Blood Pressure? 5 Yummy Recipes You'd Love!

    Highlights

    Come winters and our cravings for gur hits the roof. Jaggery is an intrinsic part if Indian households. It is used to flavour desserts, rice, roti and even curries sometimes. Many of us still sneak in a bite of the traditional sweetener post dinner just because we have seen our parents do the same, who, in turn, learned from theirs. Jaggery is known to do wonders for our energy levels it is an excellent substitute for sugar. It is replete with vital vitamins and antioxidants like vitamin C that may help keep seasonal infections at bay and rev up our immunity naturally. It helps stimulate the bowel movement too by acting as a diuretic, and hence very good for digestion. In addition to all this, jaggery may also be a very good addition to the diets of those struggling with high BP issues or hypertension.

    Why Is Jaggery Good For Hypertension

    Jaggery is a very rich source of potassium. Potassium helps negate the ill-effects caused due to sodium. We all know what impact excess sodium has on blood pressure - it disturbs the water balance, which, in turn, obstructs smooth blood flow through blood vessels. Potassium works as a diuretic - it makes you urinate and expel extra sodium. Therefore, jaggery may help blood pressure spikes in control, but only if it is consumed in moderation.

    There are many ways in which you can enjoy jaggery. Here are some of our most favourite.

    5 Jaggery-Based Recipes That You Must Try:

    1. Gur Roti Recipe
    This sweet roti is a winter specialty and a delicious departure from your regular flatbreads too.

    2. Gur Ke Chawal Recipe
    Another treat we cannot have enough of in the winters. Rice sweetened with jaggery and topped with nuts make for a wholesome fare you do not want to miss.

    3. Poha Gur Laddo Recipe
    This chunky, sweet ladoo made with flattened rice flakes and jaggery is perfect for those odd-time sweet cravings.

    4. Turmeric Jaggery Halwa Recipe
    This immunity-boosting halwa is so soft and scrummy, that you are bound to make more often.

    5. Dahi Choora Gur Recipe
    This classic breakfast from Bihar is actually a Sankranti special dish, but it is so easy to make that it's hard to resist. Some curd, some jaggery, and some poha- that's all you need to assemble this dish.

    Try these recipes and let us know your favourite!

    (This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

    About Sushmita Sengupta Sharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.


    How to Eat to Lower Blood Pressure

    This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Tennessee in 2006.

    There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

    This article has been viewed 149,833 times.

    Research suggests that reducing your sodium intake may help lower high blood pressure (hypertension). Over time, high blood pressure may contribute to health conditions like heart attack and stroke, so you likely want to do everything you can to help lower it. [1] X Trustworthy Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Main public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human Services Go to source Studies show that you might be able to control hypertension by switching to a heart-healthy low sodium diet and exercising regularly. [2] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source However, check with your doctor before making changes to your diet and exercise regime so you can make sure the changes are right for you.


    Five foods to help lower blood pressure

    High blood pressure is a health issue that affects both young and old Australians alike, with close to 6 million Australians (34%) aged 18 years and over with high blood pressure.

    Alarmingly it’s one of the leading risk factors for death and disability in Australia, as well as across the world.

    One the easiest steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure is choosing healthy foods.

    The foods we choose every day are important for our heart health. Research into high blood pressure shows us that the foods we consume can help to lower and manage high blood pressure.

    But don’t worry, we’ve done the heavy lifting and read the research, all you need to do is read on. The following foods are your best bets in beating high blood pressure– based on the science.

    Vegetables

    While research on beetroots and high blood pressure has got a lot of coverage lately, don’t think that beetroot is the only vegetable of importance. Regularly having 4-5 serves of vegetables is linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure. In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating pattern, people who ate more vegetables and fruit compared to their regular diet (which was probably low in these natural superfoods) had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t.

    Choose a variety of fruit and vegetables. The different colours offer different healthy nutrients. Read here for more information on what a serve is and ways to get more vegetables in your day.

    Fruit

    After reading about vegetables, it’s no surprise their partner fruit features in a healthy eating pattern for managing high blood pressure. Like vegetables, fruit is a rich source of potassium, magnesium and fibre.

    Include a handful of frozen and washed berries on your yoghurt or a piece of fruit with nuts as a 3pm pick me up.

    Fresh, frozen, canned fruit and vegetables all count towards your daily amount. Frozen and canned vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh. Read the nutrition information panel to avoid added salt and added sugar in these varieties, and check out our tips on storing fresh fruit and vegetables.

    Wholegrains

    This may be more surprising given some fad diets swear off wholegrain foods like bread or cereals but regular consumption of wholegrains is linked with healthier hearts, and a lower risk of high blood pressure. This is no surprise to us here at the Heart Foundation - we know high intake of wholegrains is linked to a 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

    Choose wholegrain versions of your regular foods: wholegrain pasta and rice, wholegrain bread, wholegrain or high fibre breakfast cereal like rolled oats, porridge, or untoasted muesli. Remember to watch your portion size. Rice and pasta can be easy to over-serve. At your main meal keep to ½ to 1 cup (cooked) and instead load up on vegetables.

    Reduced fat dairy

    Combining the vegetables, fruit, and wholegrain choices with reduced fat unflavoured dairy products like milk and yoghurt has been linked to greater reductions in blood pressure than increasing fruit and veg intake alone.

    Choose reduced fat unflavoured milk, cheese and yoghurt and look for ways to include these foods as a nourishing snack. Enjoy reduced fat plain yoghurt with a bowl of wholegrain cereal, topped with berries and nuts and you have a recipe for success. Add reduced fat cheese with tomato and avocado to wholegrain crackers for filling morning or afternoon snack.

    Nuts and seeds

    Nuts and seeds are delicious and nutritious. Nuts and seeds provide healthy unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.

    Nuts, seeds and legumes are important parts of healthy eating patterns, so try and include some plain unsalted nuts and seeds in your meals every day. A serve of nuts or seeds is 30g, or a small handful.

    An added bonus - regular consumption of nuts is linked to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood, and does not lead to weight gain.

    Spice up your life

    Including these foods everyday will put you on a path to good health. More of these foods means less of the foods that may be too high in salt or saturated fat. Limiting your salt and saturated fat intake is important for your heart health, and the health of your blood vessels. Choose the above foods and know you’ll be automatically lowering your salt and saturated fat intake. When cooking, use different spices to bring out the flavour of your foods instead of salt.

    And when you choose packaged foods, don’t always trust your tastebuds – trust the nutrition information panel instead – as many of the the packaged foods we turn to for quick and convenient meals can contain way too much hidden salt.

    What do we take away from this?

    Several small changes can lead to big change, which is good news for our blood vessels and our hearts.


    Foods that raise blood pressure

    Being smart about what you consume is the key to successful blood pressure management. In fact, the initial therapy for treatment is diet and exercise. If these two factors can be managed and maintained, blood pressure will start to normalize. All physicians will stress the importance of diet and exercise to their patients, as it will potentially bypass their need for prescription medication that could have unwanted side effects.

    The following are some common foods that raise blood pressure when consumed regularly and should be avoided, or at the very least, reduced in consumption by high blood pressure diagnosed patients. Foods that raise blood pressure naturally include:

    Processed foods

    These foods tend to have a high amount of salt as either a preservative or for taste. This may help the manufacturer increase the shelf life of their product to help save some money, but it comes at the cost of your health. It is advisable to avoid processed foods such as chips, pickled goods, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, frozen mixes, ketchup, dressings, dried soup mixes, as well as lunch and deli meats

    Fatty foods

    Diets high in fat have shown through research to be a contributor to high blood pressure. Studies done comparing such diets to vegetarian diets show a definite contrast, as most vegetarians were seen to have to have blood pressure significantly lower. Vegetables contain a high amount of fiber as well as polyunsaturated fats, both of which lower blood pressure.

    Alcohol

    Excessive amounts have been shown to increase blood pressure to dangerous levels. Having as many as three drinks in one sitting can temporally elevate blood pressure and possibly stay in that high range if you binge drink regularly.

    Coffee

    Caffeine is a stimulate found in coffee, and it is the reason why you feel awake after drinking a cup. But like most stimulants, it can temporarily increase blood pressure. It is thought that caffeine blocks adenosine, a hormone responsible for keeping blood vessels widened.

    Refined sugar

    Excess sugar leads to more fat being created in the body. It is estimated that most Americans consume around 240 pounds of sugar each year on average, contributing to excess fat creation. Weight gain and being overweight increases blood pressure.

    Chinese take-out

    Known for having excessive amounts of sodium. A single dish of beef with broccoli may sound tasty but can contain up to 3,200mg of sodium. This is about double the daily recommended intake.

    Frozen pizza

    While convenient and inexpensive, frozen foods such as this pack a lot a sodium as it enhances that flavor and allows for a longer shelf-life. One serving, which may only be a slice or two, can have as much as 1,000mg of sodium.

    Baked goods

    Packed sweets that may or may not have some decorative icing on them can be a tasty treat, but they often contain salted saturated fats, sugar, and sodium-rich agents. Eating too many pastries, cakes, or even cookies can lead to obesity and raising blood pressure.

    Canned tomato products

    One cup of tomato juice can have as much as 680mg of sodium, while canned pasta sauce can have as much as 1,300mg of sodium.

    Red meat

    While eating a huge steak sounds appetizing, it is considered a fatty food. They are also likely to be seasoned with salt to enhance the natural meaty flavor. It is only recommended to have a small amount of red meat in a healthy eating plan, as too much can be bad for both the heart and blood vessels.

    Sauerkraut

    A common condiment eaten with hot dogs, this food item may often go under the radar as it is technically a vegetable, but it is often made using a lot of sodium. It is estimated to contain as much as 460mg of sodium in one serving.

    Ramen noodles

    Very popular among college students owing to its cheap price and relative tastiness. This product, however, contains 14g of fat and as much as 1,580mg of sodium in one package.

    Bacon

    A national favorite, but also one that packs a lot of fat. Three slices of the stuff can have as much as 4.5g of fat and about 270mg of sodium.

    Donuts

    This fried pastry is a favorite among many for its sweet taste and satisfying aroma, but donuts may be the worst snack ever. A single donut can contain more than 300 calories with 43 percent fat and 53 percent carbohydrates. Also, it is fried, which adds saturated and trans fats. Any healthy diet should avoid this food.

    Frozen pot pies

    It is estimated that a single serving of this food contains about 1,400mg of sodium and about 35g of fat. This equates to about 50 percent of your daily recommended intake for both, just in a single serving of food.

    Whole milk

    While drinking milk is often considered nutritious, whole milk can be a high source of fat. One cup has about 8g of fat, five of which are saturated (the type of fat linked to heart disease).

    Canned chicken noodle soup

    A food commonly eaten during times of sickness, canned soups can have as much as 760mg of sodium in a single serving. Eating a whole can pack as much as 1,800mg of sodium.

    Pickles

    While considered a low-calorie food, the pickling process introduces a lot of sodium to the cucumber. Eating three medium sized pickles can have about 2,355mg of sodium, which is way more than the daily recommended amount.

    Margarine

    Some brands of this butter substitute contain trans fats, which can be bad for cardiovascular health.

    Sugar

    Found in most every food, added sugar raises calorie count, which can lead to weight gain and obesity.

    Table salt

    A common staple on any dinner table, adding too much salt to your food can directly lead to increases in blood pressure, leading to damage to the heart and arteries.

    Managing blood pressure may seem like a never-ending battle that requires a lot of sacrifices, and that may be true. But if you were to think of how it affects you in the long term, how it can shorten your lifespan&mdashtaking you away from family and loved ones&mdashgiving up that can of soda or bag of chips doesn&rsquot seem like a bad trade.