Sodium (salt) is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining fluid balance, nerve function and muscle contraction. However, excessive sodium intake can lead to various health complications especially if you already have high blood pressure, commonly referred to as hypertension. According to health experts, consuming high-sodium foods can exacerbate the symptoms of hypertension and increase your risk of cardiovascular health. In the interest of your health, you must know which high-sodium foods you must avoid to manage your blood pressure levels.
While hypertension cannot be totally treated, it can be managed! For this, you have to pay attention to your medicines, exercise, and diet. Health Shots spoke to nutritionist Vidhi Chawla of the Fisico Diet Clinic, to find out which high-sodium foods people with high blood pressure must avoid.
Chawla says, “It’s critical to reduce your salt consumption when it comes to treating hypertension (high blood pressure). It becomes even more important in the summer since excessive salt consumption can cause dehydration and increase the effects of hot weather on blood pressure.”
Here are 7 high-sodium foods that you should avoid to manage your blood pressure:
Green leafy vegetables are incredibly beneficial to health. But some green leafy veggies such as celery, spinach, carrots, and beets contain a significant amount of salt which can affect your blood pressure levels. If your BP is consistently high, avoid eating these veggies or eat them in moderation!
Although cheese is a great source of calcium and protein, it is often also high in salt and saturated fat. This means eating too much cheese can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by raising your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you still want to eat it, choose low-sodium varieties and consume it in moderation.
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To increase flavour and preserve the product, many ready-to-eat canned soups and broths are high in salt. Look for no salt added, low sodium versions, or opt for fresh or frozen varieties. To avoid all these options, prepare your own fresh-baked soups!
Pickles, sauerkraut and other fermented foods typically contain a lot of salt because of the pickling process. As a preservative and flavour enhancer, processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and deli meats also contain significant levels of sodium. So, you should limit how often you eat these foods.
Some bread and baked goods, particularly those made with refined flour, can contain significant amounts of sodium. Check the labels and opt for low-sodium options when available.
Condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and salad dressings can be a significant source of sodium. Use them sparingly or choose low-sodium versions! You can also make your own salad dressing using vinegar, lemon juice, and herbs.
Chips, pretzels and other packaged foods are often rich in salt. Choose healthier options such as fresh fruits and vegetables with hummus, or homemade snacks such as air-popped popcorn seasoned with herbs or maybe unsalted nuts.
Remember to carefully check food labels to determine the salt level of processed and packaged meals. To have greater control over the quantity of salt you take, pick fresh, complete foods and make meals at home whenever feasible. Furthermore, drinking enough water as well as reducing excessive alcohol consumption might help with blood pressure management. Moreover, consult with a healthcare professional for personalised dietary and lifestyle recommendations!