15 Foods That Can Cause High Blood Pressure, Ranked by Sodium Content
										Dietitians and doctors reveal which 15 foods increase the risk of high blood pressure.

15 Foods That Can Cause High Blood Pressure, Ranked by Sodium Content Dietitians and doctors reveal which 15 foods increase the risk of high blood pressure.

There’s no denying that salt makes our favorite foods tastier but there are foods that can cause high blood pressure, and here we’ve ranked them by sodium content. Why? Well, salt is a wonder mineral, as sodium is added to processed meals to increase the shelf life, it can enhance the color of food, stabilizes texture and can help prevent the growth of bacteria. However, it’s also one of the worst things we can eat if eaten in excess. Too much salt can lead to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. “Elevated salt intake is one of the most important risk factors for high blood pressure,” Dena Champion, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center tells us. “Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of how much salt you are consuming. In today’s busy, fast food and convenience food world, that can be really challenging.”

Champion adds, “Keep in mind that what is important is dietary patterns over time and not what you consume for one meal or for one day. It’s important to look at the big picture. In general, keeping sodium under 2,300 mg daily as recommended by the American Heart Association can be an important way to decrease blood pressure. Remember that just putting down the salt shaker isn’t always enough because many of the foods we consume have loads of sodium even though they don’t necessarily taste salty.”

Avoiding and limiting foods high in sodium is vital for overall health and to make eliminating certain foods easier, Campion says it’s important to look at what we can have. “It may be helpful to think about foods you can add to your diet, instead of only thinking in terms of foods to subtract. Consuming adequate amounts of potassium can be hugely impactful in lowering blood pressure. High potassium foods include beans, seeds, and many fruits and vegetables like bananas, oranges, avocados, peas, broccoli, and more. By focusing on eating more of these foods, you may naturally decrease the amount of processed or high sodium foods you normally consume. You also may be more likely to consume higher amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals for an overall healthier diet in general.” Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share 15 foods that raise blood pressure and why it’s essential to limit them—and we’ve ranked them by sodium content, from not-great to the absolute worst. Read on to see which is #1.

Sodium Count: 270 mg of sodium per 20 fluid ounce bottle

An electrolyte drink is a type of beverage that is formulated to help replenish the electrolytes that are lost through sweat, urine, and other bodily fluids. Electrolytes are minerals that play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of fluids in the body and supporting various functions such as muscle function, heart rhythm, and hydration. Some common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium….and some electrolyte drinks have more sodium than you need.

Michelle Routhenstein, MS RD CDE CDN, Preventive Cardiology Dietitian Nutritionist at EntirelyNourished, tells us, “Gatorade has 270 mg of sodium per 20 fluid ounce bottle. Many people drink Gatorade as a routine drink several times a day which can add up in sodium content. It is also packed with excess sugar that can increase blood pressure as well. A sodium replacement beverage is not usually warranted with regular physical activity and only needed for high sweat individuals and excess sweat replacement during marathon training/running or long durations of physical activity.” 


Barbecue Spice Rubs

Sodium Count: An estimated 300 mg of sodium per 1/4 teaspoon

Routhenstein says, “Barbecue spice rubs can make some foods taste delicious, but if you look closely the first ingredient is usually salt, and some contain sodium glutamate and/or garlic salt as well, which can bump up the salt content to about 300 mg for just a measly portion of 1/4 teaspoon! Consider making your own spice blend or looking for a salt free version. Combining garlic powder, cayenne powder, chili powder, cumin and black pepper packs in the flavor with an antioxidant boost and without the excess sodium.”


Taco Shells or Tortillas

Sodium Count: 320 mg sodium per tortilla, for example

A taco shell is a type of food that is typically made from a thin, flat, and crispy round or triangular shape of corn or wheat tortilla. It is typically used as a container or wrapper for various types of fillings, such as ground beef, chicken, fish, beans, vegetables, and cheese. Some can be as salty as your fillings. According to Routhenstein, “One taco tortilla shell can pack 320 mg of sodium! Read your labels carefully and make sure to total it into your whole meal to fully assess the salt content and help to lower your blood pressure.” Same can go for tortillas. The Mission Carb Balance Tortilla, for example, has 320 mg of sodium per single serving.


Rotisserie Chicken

Sodium Count: 330 mg of sodium and up, per piece

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