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No one wants to suffer from hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. According to CDC, anyone who suffers from this disease may not notice any symptoms, but you definitely notice the consequences. High blood pressure causes a number of health problems, ranging from organ damage and can lead to other problems like heart disease.

Several factors increase your chances of getting hypertension. Smoking, living with a ton of stress, and eating the wrong foods can cause a myriad of issues that lead to this problem. By addressing how and what you eat, you can easily sidestep the risk of raising your blood pressure. Luckily, we spoke to a handful of dietitians and learned what habits you need to break to beat high blood pressure.

Once you’ve identified which habits to break, be sure to start incorporating the 7 Best Foods to Eat for High Blood Pressure to really take charge of your blood pressure.

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Omitting a crucial nutrient from your diet can spell disaster in the long run.

“A potassium-rich food along with a low-sodium diet can help lower blood pressure,” says María E. Rodríguez, MS, RD, CSR, LND. “Eat 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Include potatoes, root vegetables and beans to ensure you are eating enough potassium daily. The American Heart Association recommends up to 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day.”

Get the most potassium bang for your buck with 21 potassium-rich foods that keep your muscles healthy and strong.

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Even if you don’t get enough potassium in your lifetime, overeating one type of food can spell disaster for your blood pressure.

“Processed foods typically contain significantly more sodium than minimally processed alternatives,” says Eleana Kaidanian, RD, CDN, CPT-WFS. “For example, think of canned or canned pre-made soups versus DIY homemade soup, or store-bought salad dressings versus making your own. When relying on processed foods for convenience, the Your total sodium intake for the day can add up very quickly to monstrous levels beyond your belief.”

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“While eating out was a treat back then, it’s much more common these days, especially when you consider the takeout options,” says Kaidanian. “However, it is impossible to determine the sodium added to restaurant foods, especially less quality foods from fast food outlets.”

“You can never remove sodium from food, however, you can keep control when you add it,” Kaidanian continues. “It’s something to consider and prioritize home-cooked foods as much as possible or consider reducing the frequency of restaurant meals per week. Think about it, a slice of pizza from the pizzeria can last up to a day. full recommended sodium intake, it will make you think twice if you go back for a few seconds!”

Don’t feel like you have to give up your favorite restaurants altogether in favor of your blood pressure. Be sure to follow the 35 tips for being healthy when dining out and keep enjoying yourself at your favorite restaurants.

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“Just like you can’t buy a pair of shoes without knowing the size, you shouldn’t buy packaged food without reading the ingredients,” says Kaidanian. “You need to know what’s going into your body and how much, don’t assume anything. Look and compare sodium levels in products.”

“For example, [let’s look at] two brands of tomato sauce, as well as the serving size for that amount of sodium,” she says. “One tablespoon of marinara from one brand has 500 milligrams of sodium compared to another that has 1,000 milligrams for the same serving size. Read the ingredient list and see if salt is one of the first ingredients or one of the last, this can also indicate the amount of sodium in the product compared to the other ingredients.”

“A client of mine who was recently diagnosed with hypertension was telling me about a creamer she adds to her coffee every day, several times a day. I asked her to read the ingredients, and the first ingredient in the cream was salt. This was unexpected, but taught us a lot about the product and made the search for a sodium-free alternative more receptive.”

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Alcohol abuse can lead to a variety of problems, and blood pressure issues are just one of many.

“Cut down your alcohol intake,” says Caitlin Carr, MS, RD. “If you consume more alcohol than the recommended amount over time, your normal blood pressure may increase. The recommended amount is one drink a day for women and two for men. However, it may be better to drink less frequently if you have high blood pressure. Additionally, alcohol can negatively impact blood pressure medications, making this disease more difficult to manage.”

If you decide to give up alcohol for a bit, you can experience a variety of changes, including some surprising side effects of not drinking alcohol.

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“Fried foods are also highly associated with high blood pressure,” said Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements. “There are two main reasons why fried foods can increase blood pressure. First, they contain saturated and trans fats, which can lead to weight gain. Weight gain can lead to increased blood pressure because the heart has to work harder to pump blood at a greater rate. The extra weight also puts a strain on the kidneys, which are a vital organ in regulating blood pressure.

“Second, fried foods are often associated with fat, but they are also high in sodium. The breadcrumbs and seasonings used to fry foods are also often high in sodium.”

Eating too many fried foods does more than just raise blood pressure. Overeating this type of food leads to particularly dangerous side effects.

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If you need to keep your blood pressure low, you don’t need to get rid of fat completely.

“Foods high in healthy fats (unsaturated fatty acids) include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, fatty fish like salmon, and nuts, all of which can help manage your blood pressure,” says Katie Tomaschko. , MS, RDN and contributor to Sporty smiles. “That’s because healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and blood vessel constricting compounds (called oxylipins) in the body.”

Find out which fats you need in your diet with this list of 20 healthy fatty foods that won’t make you fat.

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If you really need to watch your blood pressure, be sure to take it easy with the salt shaker when dinner is served.

“Salt contains sodium which is the number one contributor to heart disease and high blood pressure,” says David Brendan, RD, chief marketing officer and chief designer at start rowing. “So if you have high blood pressure, you need to control your salt intake immediately. Avoid including foods that contain a high amount of salt in your diet.”