The heart pumps blood around the body through the blood vessels. Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted on the artery walls by the pumping blood. In case of high blood pressure the blood is pumped through the arteries with a force that is higher than normal.
Dietary modification plays a significant role in maintaining normal level of blood pressure in people suffering from high blood pressure.
Certain foods are linked to high blood pressure. They are as follows:
Foods that are high in sodium content are linked to high blood pressure
Salt causes excessive retention of water in the body. Foods high in salt when consumes regularly by people with high blood pressure leads to an increased retention of water in the body. This results in an increase in the volume of blood. As a result of this heart has to pump the blood with more force than normal. Hence in people affected by high blood pressure it is recommended that they should reduce their salt intake. Certain foods like pizza, salted chips and salted nuts are considerably high in their salt content. These foods need to be avoided. Foods should be cooked with less salt than usual. Many people have the habit of adding extra salt to their meals. This needs to be avoided.
Foods high in saturated fats must be avoided
Not all fats are harmful to the body. There are two types of fats-good fats or unsaturated fats and bad fats or saturated fats. Foods high in saturated fats should be avoided. Saturated fats are linked to several diseases like arteriosclerosis which means hardening of arteries. These saturated fats are deposited in the inner lining of the arteries. As a result of this the arteries lose their elasticity and become hard. Hence the blood passing through these arteries cannot pass in a regular flow and blood flow becomes sluggish. In order to maintain the regular blood flow the heart has to pump the blood with extra force and this causes rise in the normal blood pressure levels. Saturated fats are also linked to rise in the cholesterol levels. Foods that are high in saturated fats include fried foods like chips, Fried chicken, dairy products like ice cream, cheese and milkshakes. These foods need to be avoided as they also lead to obesity which is another health problem associated with high blood pressure.
Foods that are rich in unsaturated fats are olive oil, nuts and seeds. Unsaturated fats have beneficial effects on the heart. Instead of cooking in unhealthy oils, foods can be cooked in olive oil or sunflower oil.
Many fast foods, preserved foods like pickles and sauces and junk food like pizzas, chips and burgers are high in salt content as well as their fat content. These foods need to be replaced with fresh healthy meals cooked at home. One must include at least 5 servings of vegetables and at least 2 servings of fruits in the diet on a daily basis. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber content and help to keep you fuller for longer.