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The Hidden Culprit: Dietary Blunders that Elevate Hypertension Risks

Explore and learn about all the pitfalls that are the driving force behind hypertension. Reclaim your health today with our exclusive guide on the foods that are to be avoided for hypertension. With minor changes to your diet and lifestyle you could go a long way to a good and healthy life.

Edited By : Lifestyle Desk | Updated: May 22, 2024 16:19 IST
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Dietary blunders that elevate hypertension Risks

Diet plays a major role in all lifestyle diseases, so it is no wonder that it has a big part to play in hypertension as well. It is a cause of concern in many people today not only in India, but all over the world. However, today we cannot turn diet alone into the biggest culprit because there is another to be named here. That is the tension and pressures exerted by life on every individual today. Today we are going to discuss just the diet factor which when taken into consideration can significantly reduce hypertension which can become a killer disease if not cared for properly.

How Does a Poor Diet Affect Hypertension?

Processed, salty and sugary foods are the main cause of hypertension when linked to diet. Foods that are rich in calories, fat and cholesterol cause a fatty plaque build-up on the walls of the blood vessels thereby narrowing the arteries and compels the heart to work faster and harder. This increases the pressure against the artery walls and in the process damages them. Additionally, too much salt causes fluid retention in the body which increases the blood pressure. This is how your diet can cause the onset of hypertension.

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Foods to Be Avoided in Hypertension

Read on to know the worst types of food that can cause hypertension. If you avoid these foods, your hypertension could probably be kept at bay.

Salty Foods

By now you know very well how salty foods can cause hypertension. Excessive sodium is bad for health. So before consuming any food check for their sodium levels. Here is a list of some of the forbidden salty foods: burgers, pizza, sandwiches, cold cuts & cured meats, canned soups and tacos & burritos.

Sugary Foods

Sugary foods are also good to enhance hypertension. The fructose content in it causes better salt absorption and triggers insulin spike. So, to avoid all these, avoid consuming foods like processed desserts, crackers, nutrition bars and peanut butter. Make sure to consume foods that are free from high amounts of fructose corn syrup.

Red Meat

Red meat has always been described as bad for health. Yes, it is but the worst kind are the processed red meat that levels up your blood pressure. Even the process of metabolism releases compounds that can elevate blood pressure. So, you should avoid beef, lamb, pork, veal and venison. You can still eat red meat provided your portion sizes are in control and you choose to eat the leaner cuts or the unprocessed meat varieties.

Sugary Beverages

If you are an occasional drinker of sugary beverages then it is just alright. However, if you are obsessed with them, then it is time you cut down on them. They do contain a lot of caffeine which can raise your blood pressure. Even the high fructose corn syrup loaded beverages should be avoided like the plague. Drinks like sodas, fruit juices and energy drinks should be kept aside.


Excessive alcohol consumption not only raises blood pressure, but it also has adverse effects on the heart. It is loaded with empty calories and causes weight gain. In the process you replace healthier meals and beverages. It can be consumed but limited to two drinks per day for males and one drink for females a day.

Saturated Fats

If you have high blood pressure or feel threatened by it, then it is best that you avoid saturated fats at all costs. You should not consume more than 5-6% of your daily calories from saturated fats. So, avoid desserts, processed meat, cooking fats, oils and full-fat dairy.

Processed and Packaged Foods

Some packaged foods that come with vegetable and meat-based meals get their flavour from high levels of salt in them. Either totally avoid these foods or limit their consumption. Check the nutrition or package information before carefully choosing your product.


Y condiments. You may not have to avoid all condiments, but check the information on the label before consuming any of them. Do not go by the taste as they may be flat but still contain high levels of sugar or salt in them. So be careful before you consume ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce or salad dressings. You can replace them with items that are low on sugar or salt.


Excessive caffeine in drinks like coffee may cause an increase in blood pressure. Limit your caffeine intake to not more than 4 cups a day. An increase in that level may cause complications in people with hypertension already. Instead, you can choose to drink decaffeinated coffee.

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First published on: May 22, 2024 04:10 PM IST

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