3rd Aug 2017

Surprising foods that can raise your blood pressure

sea salt
Ben Hocking

High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, so it is important to try and keep it in check. Avoiding sodium is one of the best dietary tips for lower blood pressure, but this requires more than simply avoiding table salt. Some of the foods responsible for high blood pressure may surprise you.

Frozen fish and seafood
It can be tempting to think that frozen fish is just a more convenient alternative to fresh fish, but for the most part this is not the case. Any crumbed frozen seafood is usually very high in sodium content and fat, and even the uncoated products are sometimes treated with a sodium solution to retain moisture when they thaw out. If you have the option, fresh is almost always best.

Related articles:
Blood pressure for dummies
High blood pressure worse for women
Garlic blood pressure benefit

It is often the simplest and easiest lunch option, but the humble sandwich is a sodium land mine field waiting to be wandered onto. We have been brainwashed into thinking sandwiches are a healthy alternative, but if you include processed chicken, you may find that the extra salt in this filling is even higher than some cured meats. Sure, we have been trained to avoid high-fat fillings such as ham and salami, but it’s time to ditch high-salt alternatives, like processed chook.  And then there is the bread itself, whether it be a roll or sliced, which  can also be extremely high in sodium, not to mention the addition of salty condiments such as mustard, pickles or olive dip. Check the labelling to see how much sodium these products contain.

Dairy products
A dairy intake coupled with Vitamin D to help bones stay healthy and stave off osteoporosis is helpful for some, but dairy products contain a good dose of sodium, too. One cup of low-fat milk contains around 100mg of sodium and cheeses can have even higher levels. Aim for a cheese that has 140mg or less per serving. A British cheese study found that Swiss cheeses often have the lowest sodium content.

While not containing sodium, your alcohol intake can play a role in high blood pressure. Alcohol has an especially marked effect on the blood pressure of women who smoke. Regular heavy or binge drinking can also cause substantial rises in blood pressure, sometimes extreme enough to lead to a stroke. As with most things, moderation is always the key.



To make a comment, please register or login
11th Aug 2017
Disappointed to see frozen fish on this list - darn, this has been a quick and easy meal when travelling (:
pedro the swift
11th Aug 2017
Better start eating your lawn clippings, or is there too much salt in those too!
11th Aug 2017
Also I understand grapefruit juice - GRAPEFRUIT JUICE!!! - can halve the efficiency of some blood pressure medications.
11th Aug 2017
I'm guessing my crumbed fish (with salt) sandwich and a Bundy Rum and milk in no longer on the cards for lunch? Enough to drive a man to drink....
11th Aug 2017
H'm very interesting.
19th Oct 2017
Everything you war whether it be good or unhealthy has salt so limiting salt usage is impossible to control.
23rd Oct 2017
apparently the nation is low in iodine so the government insisted bread makers include iodised salt in the bread. I guess the only thing left is carrot and celery sticks.

Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

  • Receive our daily enewsletter
  • Enter competitions
  • Comment on articles