Because the food is delicious and tasty, many people don’t bother about the effect it would have on their health. They are only concern about satisfying their taste bud, forgetting that their internal organs are the ones they really should try to please. And when they finally realize, things might have gotten out of hand.
The food you eat on a daily basis can affect your blood pressure and overall health. Daily unhealthy habits can also do the same thing too. Both can cause your blood pressure to rise, and the resultant effect could be regrettable. High blood pressure gives rise to hypertension which is a well-known silent killer. The World Health Organization reports that more than 7.5 million individuals have lost their lives as a result of blood pressure issues. That is one of the reasons people are advised to check their blood pressure occasionally. And to have a better understanding of safe and high-risk BP value you can check your blood pressure using this tool.
However, here is how millions of people are unknowing killing themselves through the food they eat and lifestyle habits they are yet to forgo.
Ways You Are Increasing Your Blood Pressure and How to Avoid Them
1. Adding excess salt to meals
Many of us are guilty of this. We can’t eat foods that don’t have enough salt. While satisfying the taste bud by adding enough salt to your meals is understandable, know that you are gradually putting your health at high risk.
However, whenever there is a discussion regarding blood pressure issues, the kidney is one organ people rarely make mention of. But this same bean-shaped organ suffers a lot when one consumes too much salt. The point is when you take excess salt the kidney gets thrown off balance or becomes damaged. The heart and blood pressure faces the repercussion when this happens.
The kidney helps to filter and remove toxins from the cells in the body. These two bean-shaped organs filter more than 120 quarts of blood on a daily basis. But the thing is excess salt consumption makes it difficult for them to perform their duties adequately. And failure to do so leads to toxin buildup in the body which causes one’s blood pressure to rise gradually.
How you can limit salt consumption
• Don’t consume more than a tablespoon full or 2,300 mg of salt daily
• Check the nutritional labels of any processed foods before eating. You need to know the amount of salt in them before eating.
• Always add a little amount of salt to your meals when cooking and don’t leave the salt shaker on the dining table. You might face the temptation to use it if the food doesn’t have enough salt.
• Encourage the consumption of processed foods labeled “no added salt.”
2. Drinking alcohol excessively
To be honest, alcohol can have both negative and positive effects on blood pressure. Studies claim that moderate consumption of alcohol can help prevent high blood pressure, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Consumed in moderate amount alcohol can do more good than harm. It can affect the walls of your blood vessels and alter their elasticity. Bear in mind that this action changes how the blood vessels react to stress messages transported by hormones across the blood vessels. However, this tends to reduce blood pressure as well as lower the workload the heart has to deal with. Studies confirm that a pint of wine consumed every day can reduce one’s chances of heart attack significantly.
For excess consumption of alcohol, the reverse is the case. It can increase the stiffness of the blood vessels and raise metabolic stress levels. Excessive use of alcohol can also give the heart too much load than it can handle. It can also cause one’s blood pressure to increase. Reducing alcohol intake is a vital health tip for every man.
On the other hand, alcohol also has a high amount of calories, so excess consumption can cause you to add more weight or become obese. And as you already know, obesity is one of the many factors that can cause high blood pressure and many life-threatening conditions.
3. Taking too much sugar
Excess salt and alcohol consumption are not the only factors that can lead to high blood pressure. Excess sugar consumption is also a culprit. High blood sugar can make it difficult for an individual to lose weight. So, if you discover that you have challenges losing weight even after lowering calorie intake, then you have to go for blood sugar test because that might be the problem.
Sugar is present in most of the foods we consume either added artificially or present naturally. It acts as a sweetener to please the taste bud. But the point is consuming excess sugar is dangerous to your health. Behind the sweetness in sugar are more calories. So if you want to shed the extra pounds and keep fit, you need to reduce sugar consumption drastically.
How you can limit sugar consumption
• Check the product label of any processed food before eating to know the sugar content.
• Your favorite beverages should be herbal tea or water.
• Reduce coffee intake to at least one or two cups daily.
• Reduce or avoid the use of refined sugar. Natural or unrefined sugar from raw honey or fruits is healthier than the refined ones. There are so many health benefits of lowering sugar intake.
Here is the amount of sugar recommended for men and women per day according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Men: Daily Sugar consumption
• 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons
• 150 calories
Women: Daily sugar consumption
• 25 grams or 6 teaspoons
• 100 calories
Food gives us the energy to perform our daily activities. They also have the power to determine our health to a large extent. The food you eat can affect your blood pressure significantly. For instance, eating too much-processed foods with high salt content will have a massive effect on your blood pressure over time.
The ideal thing to do is to take precaution. Avoid unhealthy habits that will expose you to high blood pressure issues as highlighted above. The tips on this post will give you ideas on how to maintain healthy blood pressure levels and actions that are exposing you to these issues.
Otega Clement Okperigho is a passionate writer who likes to research and provide detailed information on health issues. He believes in the ideology that health is wealth and that the right information can save lives. Clement enjoys sharing information about blood pressure issues. He also encourages everyone to be mindful of their blood pressure. You can read more of Clement’s write-ups online.