Switching to a high blood pressure diet can be a small or large adjustment, depending on your current eating habits. Either way, making small, gradual changes over time will make your transition to a healthier diet much more tolerable.
But this can seem overwhelming even if you already follow a relatively healthy diet. Is there a food that you should focus on eating more than all the rest? There may be, and there is a possibility that you are already eating a small amount.
High blood pressure affects millions of Americans, putting them at risk for heart attacks, strokes and other chronic conditions. With the right medications and changes in lifestyle, it is quite manageable for most people once they are diagnosed. What is not always so simple is to identify the cause.
This is due to the possible causes of high blood pressure, from genes to weight, alcohol consumption and more. However, physical inactivity and diet are extremely common risk factors for developing hypertension and heart problems.
What is clear from decades of research is that what you eat or can not make a big difference in your long-term health.
If you are at risk of developing high blood pressure, or you already have it, your doctor or dietitian may recommend changes such as reducing your sodium intake. There is a very good reason for this recommendation.
Why are salty foods bad for you
In short, salt increases blood pressure, especially if you eat a lot of foods high in sodium for a long period of time.
Eating too much salt puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your body. Your kidneys, for example, can only filter so much salt from your blood at once. Excessive work wears them down and makes them less efficient.
Salt also forces your body to hold more water, which increases your blood pressure because your heart has to work harder to pump blood efficiently through various parts of your body, including the kidneys and other organs.
Unfortunately, excess salt can be a major contributor to high blood pressure, as can large amounts of refined sugar. But sometimes, instead of focusing on what you should not eat, it is more useful to think about what you should eat more to control blood pressure.