High blood pressure affects many people, especially adults. The problem can be serious since in some cases (if the increase in blood pressure is not so high) the disease can go undiagnosed and still cause damage to blood vessels. Once a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure he is initially told to change his diet and may be prescribed some antihypertensive drugs. Yes, it is necessary to stick to the prescribed medications, but dietary changes are also essential in maintaining optimal levels of blood pressure and prevention of potential damage due to hypertension.
Alcohol and High Blood Pressure
All people suffering from high blood pressure must abstain from alcohol. Alcohol is proven to lead to an increase in blood pressure especially if it is taken on a daily bases and in large amounts. One may limit the intake of alcohol to one or two drinks per day (depending on the gender), but general recommendations are that alcohol should be totally eliminated from one's diet.
High-Sodium Foods and High Blood Pressure
High-sodium foods are strictly forbidden. The explanation is quite simple. Namely, in case one eats food rich in sodium his body will keep more fluids (sodium draws fluid) and the total circulatory volume will significantly increase. This consequently leads to increase in blood pressure. So, people suffering from high blood pressure should limit the intake of sodium to 1,500 mg per day.
Saturated Fats and High Blood Pressure
Food rich in saturated fats or trans fats is not recommended even in small amounts. Only in some cases a doctor may allow intake of saturated fats, which, in this case, may only account for 7% of total daily calories. These fats are not good for blood vessels. Since blood vessels in people suffering from high blood pressure are already damaged, intake of saturated fats will simply assist in process of atherosclerosis and contribute to additional damage to blood vessels.
Sugar and High Blood Pressure
Foods rich in sugar may also contribute to increase in fat deposits in the body. This may eventually result in obesity. In obese people (particularly if they are already suffering from high blood pressure) the heart needs to work extra hard. The effects can be detrimental and induce premature heart attack and other medical conditions.
Several More Precautions
People suffering from high blood pressure should also abstain from processed foods. Processed foods are rich in both, sodium and sugar. Furthermore, even consumption of red meat must be limited due to certain chemicals and toxic substances which may increase blood pressure. And finally, all people who are slaves to nicotine and coffee must get rid of these habits as soon as possible and prevent the negative effects of both.