Do you know that approximately half of all adults suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension? It has affected a large population, and only twenty-five per cent have their high blood pressure under control (after taking medication). Some believe that medicine is the only resolution in combating hypertension; however, other prevalent lifestyle circumstances can drastically change blood pressure levels, particularly your food and nutrition. Clinical nutritionist Dr Vikki Petersen shares the significance of understanding how the meals you consume can add to your blood pressure levels and affect your overall well-being.

Four worst foods for high blood pressure

Unhealthy trans and saturated fats

Unhealthy trans and saturated fats increase your (LDL) bad cholesterol and reduce your (HDL) good cholesterol. It is responsible for eliminating bad (LDL) cholesterol from your body, which is necessary to prevent hypertension. Unhealthy saturated fats are discovered in various prepackaged meals, while saturated fats are found in butter, red meat, cream and chicken.

Sodium

Salt. It is on everyone's top of mind and is the main culprit behind hypertension. However, wholesome salt for seasoning your meals can be savoured as part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, to help balance the excess salt, excessive sodium pulls water into your blood vessels, and the result is - raised blood volume, which boosts blood pressure.

Fructose or Sugar

Fructose, especially sugar, can have an immediate impact on raising your blood pressure. This is because fructose reduces your normal nitric oxide levels, a relaxor and a dilator to your blood veins. Nitric oxide keeps your arteries flexible, which is another factor in decreasing blood pressure too.

Lunch meat

Lunch meat is preserved with sodium and, consequently, holds a vast quantity. The mechanism is the same as explained above in how sodium raises blood pressure, but lunch meat further worsens inflammation due to all the chemicals and preservatives they comprise.