10 Foods to Avoid for People with High Blood Pressure and Their Healthier Alternatives

3 min

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a prevalent health condition that affects numerous individuals worldwide. Along with medication and lifestyle changes, managing high blood pressure also involves making dietary adjustments. Certain foods can significantly impact blood pressure levels, and it's important for individuals with hypertension to be aware of these foods and seek healthier alternatives. Here are 10 foods to avoid for people suffering from high blood pressure, along with suitable replacement options:

  1. Salty Snacks (Potato Chips, Pretzels)Salty snacks are typically high in sodium, which can elevate blood pressure. Instead, consider these healthier alternatives:

    • Oven-baked kale chips: These crunchy delights are low in sodium and rich in antioxidants.
    • Roasted chickpeas: Seasoned with herbs and spices, roasted chickpeas provide a satisfying crunch with less sodium.
  2. Canned SoupCanned soups often contain excessive amounts of sodium. Opt for these homemade or low-sodium alternatives:

    • Vegetable soup: Make a homemade vegetable soup with fresh ingredients and low-sodium broth for a nutritious and flavorful option.
    • Homemade chicken noodle soup: Prepare a homemade version using lean chicken, whole-wheat noodles, and fresh vegetables, while keeping the sodium levels in check.
  3. Deli Meats and Processed MeatsDeli meats and processed meats are typically high in sodium and unhealthy additives. Consider these alternatives:

    • Freshly cooked chicken or turkey breast: Choose lean cuts of fresh poultry and cook them at home to control the sodium content.
    • Homemade roasted beef: Roast a lean cut of beef at home and slice it thinly for sandwiches, ensuring lower sodium levels.
  4. PicklesPickles are delicious but packed with sodium. Try these low-sodium alternatives:

    • Fresh cucumbers: Slice fresh cucumbers and add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar for a refreshing and low-sodium snack.
    • Pickled vegetables without added salt: Make your own pickled vegetables using vinegar, water, and herbs without the addition of salt.
  5. Packaged Baked GoodsCommercially produced baked goods like cookies and pastries often contain trans fats and high levels of sodium. Consider these homemade options:

    • Oatmeal cookies: Bake homemade oatmeal cookies using whole-grain flour and natural sweeteners like honey or mashed bananas.
    • Homemade whole-grain muffins: Bake muffins using whole-grain flour, fresh fruits, and minimal added sugars.
  6. Regular Salad DressingsStore-bought salad dressings can be high in unhealthy fats and sodium. Opt for these homemade alternatives:

    • Olive oil and vinegar dressing: Whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and your favorite herbs for a healthy and flavorful dressing.
    • Yogurt-based dressing: Use plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and herbs to create a creamy and low-sodium salad dressing.
  7. Sausages and Hot DogsSausages and hot dogs are often high in sodium and unhealthy fats. Choose these healthier alternatives:

    • Grilled chicken or turkey sausages: Look for low-sodium options and grill them for a delicious and lean protein source.
    • Vegetarian or plant-based sausages: Opt for plant-based alternatives made from ingredients like tofu, tempeh, or legumes.
  8. Frozen MealsPre-packaged frozen meals are convenient but often high in sodium and unhealthy additives. Prepare these homemade alternatives:

    • Freezer-friendly homemade meals: Cook balanced meals using fresh ingredients, and freeze them in portion-sized containers for convenient alternatives.
    • Stir-fried vegetables and lean protein: Prepare a stir-fry using a variety of colorful vegetables and lean proteins like chicken, tofu, or shrimp. Portion it out and freeze for quick and healthy meals.
  1. Regular CheeseRegular cheese can be high in sodium and saturated fats. Consider these alternatives with lower sodium content:

    • Low-sodium cheese options: Look for cheeses labeled as "low-sodium" or "reduced-sodium" to limit your sodium intake.
    • Plant-based cheese alternatives: Explore plant-based cheese options made from nuts, soy, or other non-dairy ingredients that are lower in sodium and saturated fats.
  2. Sugary DrinksHigh-sugar beverages like soda and sweetened juices can contribute to weight gain and increased blood pressure. Opt for these healthier drink choices:

  • Water: Staying hydrated with plain water is the best choice for managing blood pressure.
  • Unsweetened herbal tea: Enjoy a variety of herbal teas without added sugar for a flavorful and soothing alternative.
  • Freshly squeezed fruit juices: If you crave fruit flavors, choose freshly squeezed juices without added sugars to benefit from the natural sweetness and nutrients.

Remember, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to personalize your dietary choices according to your specific needs. By avoiding these foods that contribute to high blood pressure and incorporating healthier alternatives, you can take positive steps toward managing your blood pressure and improving your overall health. Small changes in your diet can have a significant impact on maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.

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