High Blood Pressure? Here Are The Foods You Should Be Avoiding

High blood pressure is one of the more common health issues many people in the United States suffer from. Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three adults in the U.S. suffers from high blood pressure. Anyone who has high blood pressure knows this is a condition that requires a person to actively manage it. Statistically, only half of individuals who have high blood pressure actively manage it. The question is — do you know which foods you should be avoiding if you have high blood pressure?

  1. Salt

Whether you have high blood pressure or not, most people are not too surprised to see salt at the top of the list of foods you should be avoiding. The question is – why? When you have too much salt in your body, it pulls the water into your blood vessels which increase your blood pressure. Here’s is a list of specific foods you should be avoiding as they are especially high in salt:

  • Bread and rolls
  • Cured and cold cut meats
  • Pizza
  • Processed chicken
  • Soup
  1. Pickles

Preserving food requires a significant amount of sodium. The sodium is what prevents the food from decaying and keeps it edible. The problem with preserving food is it turns the food into a salt sponge. The longer the food — in this case, the pickle — sits in the jar or can, the more sodium it will absorb.

According to SFGate, a single dill pickle spear can contain as much as 306 milligrams of sodium, a single cup of dill pickle slices contains 1,356 milligrams, and a single dill slice can contain roughly 61 milligrams of sodium.

  1. Canned or Bottled Tomato Products

Any doctor would tell an individual with high blood pressure to add canned and bottled tomato products to the list of foods they should be avoiding. Pasta sauces, tomato sauces, tomato pastes, and tomato juices are all high in sodium. Did you know half a cup of marinara sauce can have almost 500 milligrams of salt? This does not mean you should avoid canned or bottled tomato products, it just means you should look for low or reduced-sodium versions when you are grocery shopping.

  1. Sugar

Sugar tends to make the list of foods you should be avoiding regardless of what health condition you are plagued with. The reason why sugar is bad for individuals with high blood pressure is that consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity. Statistically, high blood pressure tends to be more common in individuals who are also overweight. The American Heart Association recommends men consume no more than 36 grams of sugar per day and women consume no more than 24 grams per day.

  1. Coffee

Per Mayo Clinic, coffee makes the list of foods you should be avoiding if you have high blood pressure. Technically, any caffeinated beverage or food causes a temporary spike in your blood pressure. While the occasional soda or cup of coffee isn’t the end of the world, consuming them regularly could be contributing to your high blood pressure.

  1. Alcohol

While drinking a small or moderate amount of alcohol can be good for maintaining your blood pressure level, drinking too much will cause your blood pressure to spike. Per Mayo Clinic, having more than three alcoholic beverages in one sitting can cause your blood pressure to spike temporarily.


There are, however, other issues with drinking alcohol for someone who has high blood pressure. First, alcohol does not mix well with blood pressure medication. Alcohol is also packed full of calories and can lead to weight gain.

Per the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer.” When it isn’t kept under control, this health condition can cause serious health issues and can even lead to death. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is in your best interest to try avoiding the foods on this list as much as possible.

[Featured Image by Fabryczka Fotografii/Shutterstock]