15 Worst Foods For High Blood Pressure


I'm Dr. Frita and today I'm giving you the 15 worst foods for high blood pressure. I am a board-certified nephrologist in Atlanta, GA which means that I specialize in kidneys and high blood pressure. Yes, high blood pressure is what I talk about day in and day out. And I have so many patients who come in and they're like, "I don't want to be on medicines". And guess what? It starts with what you eat, and what you put in your mouth. There are so many foods in the grocery store that are bad for your blood pressure. So we're going to go through the worst culprits.

Heart Disease & Stroke: The Hidden Dangers of High Blood Pressure

We know that tens of millions of Americans have high blood pressure and the American diet is loaded with sodium and foods with preservatives that are really bad for your blood pressure. And guess what? High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and strokes and it is the number two reason why people end up on dialysis. Yes, it's the number two cause of people being in my dialysis clinic. So today I'm giving you the 15 worst foods for high blood pressure, keep reading.


Be sure to download your copy of my book, it's called, "Under Pressure." It's your step-by-step guide on how to control high blood pressure. This book is packed with valuable tools, guidelines, and information to help you to control high blood pressure. Click here to get your copy today.


15 Worst Foods For High Blood Pressure


worst foods for high blood pressure

1. Cured or Processed Meats

Processed meats or cured meats like salami, ham, and bacon, are loaded with sodium. They're loaded with salt and saturated fats, which can make them detrimental to blood pressure when consumed in high amounts.

2. Commercially Baked Goods

Commercially baked goods like packaged cookies, packaged cakes, and packaged pastries. They have very high levels of refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrates, which can be really bad for your blood pressure when eaten frequently.


microwave popcorn worst foods for blood pressure


3. Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn, which I know can be so delicious and tempting, it's not good for your blood pressure at all. Most microwave popcorn is high in salt, and high in unhealthy saturated fats. High unsaturated fats can lead to you having clogged arteries, which of course can lead to high blood pressure. So the typical microwave popcorn is one of the worst foods for high blood pressure.

4. Condiments

You may think of condiments as being harmless, but condiments like hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and ketchup, can be loaded down with sodium, which of course is not great for your blood pressure levels. So make sure that you are a label watcher and you pay attention to exactly how much sodium is in each serving of one of your favorite condiments.


pre packaged instant noodles


5. Pre-Packaged Instant Noodles

Packaged instant noodles, like the ones that come in a block and you just add water. They are the staple of so many diets, especially if your kids need something to eat quickly or if you just want to grab something to fill you up. But that's one of the worst things you can do for high blood pressure numbers because if you watch the label, these packaged noodles will have more than the daily allowance of sodium/salt. So you want to avoid packaged noodles, because yes, it's one of the worst foods for high blood pressure.

6. Frozen Ready To Go Dinners

Frozen, ready-to-go dinners can be super convenient, especially for people who don't have a lot of time, or for people who are just on the run, or if you're someone who is not able to cook like you used to be able to cook. But listen, these frozen ready-to-go dinners, especially the ones with sauces, can be really bad for your blood pressure. A lot of them have flavor enhancers and preservatives, which are really bad for blood pressure. So you definitely want to avoid eating them, and you especially don't want to eat them frequently.

7. Sushi Rolls with Soy Sauce

Sushi can be pretty good depending on what you choose. But if you're having sushi rolls and you're loading them down with soy sauce, that's bad for your blood pressure. We know that soy sauce, delicious though it may be, is very, very high in sodium. So even if you're trying to be healthy and you're having some sushi, maybe salmon, which is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids or you're having some tuna and maybe your sushi roll has avocado, those things are good, the fatty fish, the avocado, and some of the vegetables. But please avoid the soy sauce.


salad dressings


8. Sodium-Loaded Salad Dressings

Now, one of the joys of my career as a kidney doctor, and as a hypertension specialist, is when patients come to me excited, because they're trying salads. Oh, yes, I want them to have salads, and a lot of plant-based foods in their diets, but you simply must step away from the salad dressings that are loaded with sodium.  Just because it's on a salad doesn't mean that it's healthy. If you take a look, you'll find that many of the salad dressings have high salt content. For example, there are some salad dressings that may have as much as 250 milligrams of sodium per serving. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.

What Is A Serving Of Salad Dressing?

A serving could be two tablespoons of salad dressing. Okay, so two tablespoons (250 milligrams). But what if you use four tablespoons or five tablespoons? Well, you've already practically exceeded your daily recommendation for sodium. So make sure you don't sabotage your healthy salad eating by having sodium-loaded salad dressings.


fermented foods


9. Fermented Foods

Okay, I know that you may enjoy having a good pickle on your burger or on your sandwich, which we'll talk about burgers later or you might like to have sauerkraut in your hot dogs. That's processed food, we'll talk about that later too. But you want to avoid having fermented foods in excess because they're loaded with salt, which of course is bad for your blood pressure. So again, make sure you're a label watcher and when you think you're having that harmless pickle, remember it's not worth it.

10. Canned Soups

Now, your mama or your grandma may have told you that soups like chicken noodle soups are good for the soul, but guess what? She wasn't talking about canned soups. She was talking about fresh soups like they used to make in the good old days. If you look at the labels on canned soups, you will find that oftentimes, they really push your daily recommendation for sodium intake and of course, we know that salt is very bad for your high blood pressure. So when you're trying to make a healthy choice and maybe have a vegetable soup, chicken noodle soup, or some type of a lentil soup, make sure it's not a canned soup.  Having canned soups in excess, that's one of the worst things you can do for your blood pressure.


canned soups


11. Canned Beans and Vegetables

Beans and legumes are good for you, they're loaded with fiber, and they can be great for your health. And we know that vegetables and plant-based foods are good for your health. But, canned beans and canned vegetables, specifically, are loaded with salt, with very high detrimental sodium contents.

12. Salted Nuts

Nuts in and of themselves can be an excellent source of protein, and a good healthy snack when they are unsalted. But if you're dealing with salted nuts, they can have lots of sodium which of course, is super bad for your blood pressure. So make sure you stick to the unsalted nuts.


fast food burgers


13. Fast Food Burgers

Let's talk about fast-food burgers, shall we? You already know, fast food burgers are loaded with that red meat, which has lots of unsaturated fats, and loaded with lots of salt which we know is bad for blood pressure. And then think about what you put on your burger, number one, there's the bread, and yes, bread is an ultra-processed food, and bread can be loaded with salt, not to mention the cheese. Cheese can be salty, and if you put bacon on your burger, that processed meat, forget it!

14. Restaurant or Frozen Pizza

Restaurant pizza or frozen pizza can be loaded down with refined carbohydrates, salt, and unsaturated fats, and you know there's that sauce, that tomato sauce. Yes, tomatoes by themselves, can be healthy, fresh tomatoes, but tomato sauce is loaded with added sugar as well as salt. So you want to avoid frozen pizzas and restaurant pizzas when you are trying to keep your blood pressure levels in check.


frozen pizza worst food for hbp


15. Instant Rice and Pasta Mixes

Instant rice and pasta mixes can be really bad for your blood pressure and they're super convenient, right? They're really quick, and they're flavorful, but guess what? They often have flavor enhancers, loaded with high salt and preservatives. Make sure when you're getting that instant rice and instant pasta mixes to read the food labels because you'll find more times than not, that they're loaded with salt and preservatives and they are among the worst foods you can have when you're trying to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

As I pointed out the 15 worst foods for high blood pressure, the list I gave is not exhaustive. There are many, many more foods that are also bad for the blood pressure. Remember, you want to be a label watcher. If the food is very high in sodium, unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and refined sugars, then it's likely bad for your blood pressure. Make sure you consult with your physician. Remember, high blood pressure is a silent killer, but it doesn't have to be. Make sure that you take control, know your numbers, and do your best to live your healthiest, happiest life.

Dr. Frita - Frita McRae Fisher, M.D.

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