What foods should I not eat if I have high blood pressure?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

You should avoid foods high in salt and sodium which are usually processed foods. That means foods that come in boxes, cans, and frozen unless they say low sodium or salt free. You should also avoid foods that naturally contain lots of sodium like processed meats (ham, bologna, salami, and other cured meats), olives, anchovies, tuna fish, bread, and cheese.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic
Nutrition & Dietetics

I would suggest avoiding processed items like soups, salad dressings, and other condiments. They are high in sodium and can raise blood pressure. The recommended amount of sodium intake per day if you have hypertension is 1,500 milligrams per day, which is less than one teaspoon of salt. Flavor foods with herbs and spices, and make your own soups at home to reduce salt.

Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics
Foods with a lot of sodium can cause problems for people with high blood pressure. Canned soups, bacon, canned meats and vegetables, processed food, and frozen foods are some foods that may add excessive amounts of sodium. Be sure to read the label and try to limit sodium to 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
Healthy Humans
Foods high in saturated or trans fats, salt, sugar, and processed carbohydrates are best avoided for good health.
Diet is very important to maintain normal blood pressure. Many dietary factors adversely affectblood pressure. These include being overweight, too much salt (sodium), low fiber, sugar, high saturated fat with low essential fatty acids and not enough potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Avoiding refined foods (like processed carbohydrates) is critically important to maintain normalblood pressure. Refined carbohydrates increase weight, inflammation and insulin resistance, all of which are known risk factors to increase blood pressure. Refined simple sugars are sucrose,dextrose, fructose, maltose, corn sweetener, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Food labels that read "high fructose corn syrup" fall into this category.
Also, so called "trans fats" or "partially hydrogenated" oils present in many packaged snack foods, bakery products, margarines and fried foods are particularly likely to lead to problems.
Refined carbohydrates also include breads with the following words on the label: bleached flour,sugar, hydrogenated oils, "chlorinated" or "brominated". Other foods include high sugarbreakfast cereals, cakes, pies, cookies, and canned fruit in sugar syrup. It is also important to know that one quarter of people's sugar intake is consumed in soft drinks.

Continue Learning about High Blood Pressure Prevention

High Blood Pressure Prevention

High Blood Pressure Prevention

Making lifestyle changes can help reduce your blood pressure and decrease your risk for heart disease. Changing your dietary habits to reduce sodium, increase fresh produce and eat out less will help control high blood pressure. I...

n addition to a healthy diet, exercise 30 to 60 minutes each day, quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption for blood pressure health.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.