One out of every three, or 77.9 million, adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, according to a report by the American Heart Association–and, it’s getting worse.
By 2030, it’s projected that 41.4% of U.S. adults will have high blood pressure.
But get this: nearly 28% of Americans don’t even know they have the disease! It’s called the “silent killer” for a reason, because high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a cardiovascular disease symptoms and signs are subtle until it’s nearly too late. It’s the precursor for heart attacks and heart disease: the number one killer of Black men and women in the U.S.
Blood pressure measures the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when your heart relaxes between beats.
While the number can fluctuate from minute to minute with changes in posture, exercise, stress or food, it should normally be less than 120/80 mmHg. Any higher, and you could be diagnosed with high blood pressure by your doctor. (Hg is the pressure that one millimeter (mm) of mercury (Hg) exerts.)
But there is good news: This is preventable! Yes, you can stop it! In fact, most people can bring down their blood pressure naturally by adjusting their diet.
So, here are 10 foods you should avoid, put down and don’t eat again if you have high blood pressure or if you have a history of high blood pressure in your family.
10. Chinese Take-out
It’s about the sodium. Some food items could contain more than two days’ worth of sodium!
Beef with broccoli, which doesn’t sound too harmful, packs about 3,200 mg of salt. Ingredients used for cooking the dish, including soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, have about 1,000 mg of sodium in just a single tablespoon. And think about all the oil used to toss around the beef and broccoli. There’s a reason why even the sautéed vegetables in Chinese food always look so shiny.
Even soups can be surprisingly unhealthy. A bowl of hot and sour soup at PF Chang’s has, get this… 7,980 mg of salt. That’s nearly three days worth of sodium in only ONE meal!
The crunchy, low-calorie snack is a great complement to your sandwich order except for the fact that it’s loaded with sodium.
Three medium pickles, about 3.75 inches long, can have about 2,355 mg of sodium, more than the recommended sodium limit of 2,300 mg for an entire day.
8. Deli Meat
Yes, your precious “healthy” sandwiches may be killing you. Processed deli and lunch meats you buy to make sandwiches can quickly become a sodium trap.
Deli meats are often cured, seasoned, and preserved with salt to last longer. A two-ounce serving of some lunch meats could contain about 600 milligrams of sodium or more.
When you add the two slices of bread, cheese, some condiments, and pickles, a simple sandwich is no longer so innocent. Try for fresh slices of turkey, not processed.
7. Whole Milk
Yes, while milk may be a source of sodium, it’s not that great for you. Once cup serving of whole milk is about 8 grams of fat, and five of those eight are saturated! Saturated fats are worse for you because they can lead to heart disease. Instead try 2% milk or even go a better route and use almond milk or coconut milk as a tasty replacement.