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5 Guilty Pleasure Foods That Cause High Blood Pressure

November 17, 2016

We tend to use the popular phrase “you are what you eat” very selectively. It will always apply whenever we eat something super healthy like salads or protein shakes. But we’d never use it if we stuff our faces with say, an extra large cheesy pizza. It’s time we use that phrase a lot more and with more pride as there are foods we’ve been eating the whole time that have been raising our blood pressure. Whether they’re guilty pleasures or part of our regular diet, these foods are putting an unnecessary strain on our hearts. Those foods are: 

1)   Sea salt – there’s a common misconception that sea salt is better and healthier than table salt and kosher salt. While the sodium content may be slightly lower than table salt and kosher salt, one serving still contains over 1,000 mg of sodium. This amount is dangerously close to the recommended level the American Heart Association recommends for daily consumption

2)   Dairy foods – Dairy is a slippery slope. Dairy foods like milk and cheese may be high in calcium and vitamin D as well as having some protein. But there’s also a natural occurrence of sodium as well as high amounts of fat and cholesterol, all elements that lead to high blood pressure.

3)   Sandwiches – Sandwiches are a classic comfort food and American staple. Who hasn’t had a grilled cheese sandwich for a snack at some point in our lives? But as we mentioned earlier, the sodium, fat, and cholesterol in dairy adds up. It’s even worse in a sandwich. A hearty sandwich from your friendly neighborhood deli is going to be packed with sodium from not only the processed meats (salami for example is not only naturally salty but extra sodium comes from nitrates, the preservatives,) but the extra sauces and condiments

4)   Alcohol – Excessive alcohol consumption comes with a slew of detriments, high blood pressure being one of them. Listen to your body and ease up on the booze.

5)   Energy drinks – they may raise your energy levels, but energy drinks do so at the cost of raising your blood pressure. A recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that energy drinks increased blood pressure in healthy volunteers. The caffeine, high sugar content, and other stimulants put a lot more strain on our cardiovascular system than we realize. Only for the crash that comes after the sugar high is gone. 

These foods may taste delicious, but eating too much of these foods is going to lead to undesirable health outcomes. It’s totally fine to indulge once in a while, but not at the expense of straining your heart with high blood pressure.

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