It’s no secret that high blood pressure isn’t good for your health — uncontrolled high blood pressure has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and more. But it may be harder than you think to avoid raising your blood pressure, thanks to a number of tasty foods.
One of the major culprits contributing to high blood pressure is sodium, which is present in a wide variety of foods, from ham to salad dressing. To help keep blood pressure in check, it’s a good idea to be aware of which foods contain lots of salt.
According to Eat This, Not That!, here are some of the foods you may want to avoid — or eat less often — to help lower your risk of high blood pressure:
While the average loaf of bread has only 100 to 200 milligrams of sodium, which isn’t a ton, that number tends to grow quite quickly because we often eat a lot of it over the course of a day (think: toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and rolls with dinner). Subs and burger buns are also sadly included in this, so you may want to think about incorporating different lunch or dinner options more often.
Tacos and burritos
Unfortunately for all Mexican food fans, the combo of tortillas, cheese and salsa may not be ideal for those watching their blood pressure.
This one hurts, but pizza contains bread, cheese and tomato sauce, which are all loaded with salt. If you enjoy toppings such as pepperoni, sausage or artichokes, your salt intake will increase even more.
Canned foods, including soup and vegetables
It might be surprising that canned soup and canned vegetables are on the list, but they’re often filled with sodium to keep them from spoiling. The average can of soup contains between 1,400 and 1,800 milligrams of sodium, which is around what your daily intake should be.
What to eat instead
One strategy for keeping your sodium levels in check could be to reach for foods that are high in potassium to help combat the negative effects of salt. For example, fresh veggies, avocados, bananas and fish are all packed with potassium, and they also contain other essential vitamins and minerals.
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