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When you think of foods that can raise your blood pressure, you might automatically think of salty snacks or meals. However, there is another type of food that may also have an impact on your blood pressure: processed foods. 1
Processed foods are those that have been altered from their natural state, and often have added ingredients like salt, sugar, or fat. 2
While these foods can be convenient and tasty, they can also be detrimental to your health if you consume them in excess. 3
One of the biggest dangers of processed foods is that they are often high in salt. 4
Salt may cause your body to retain water, which leads to an increase in blood volume and, as a result, higher blood pressure. 5
Study shows that one of the ways that processed foods may increase your blood pressure is by impairing circulation. 6
When your circulation is not functioning properly, it may cause your blood pressure to rise. 7 This is because the blood has a harder time flowing through the body, and so the pressure in the arteries increases.
Another way that processed foods may impact your blood pressure is by increasing inflammation. 8
Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation may lead to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure. 9 Another study shows that processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs may increase your blood pressure. 10
Many processed foods contain harmful chemicals that can be toxic to the body. 11 These chemicals may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure or other health problems. 12
Another problem with processed foods is that they may be addictive. This is because they often contain high levels of sugar or salt, which may cause you to crave more of these foods. 13 This may lead to overeating and weight gain, both of which may contribute to high blood pressure.14, 15
1. Read food labels carefully and choose products with minimal processing
2. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed ones
3. Prepare meals at home from scratch using unprocessed ingredients
4. Limit your intake of fast food and convenience foods
5. Avoid sugary drinks, which can also contribute to weight gain and high blood pressure.
Making even small changes in your diet can have a big impact on your blood pressure. By avoiding processed foods, you may help to keep your blood pressure under control and reduce your risk of developing hypertension.
In other words, the best way to avoid processed foods is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and cook meals at home from scratch. However, if you do purchase processed foods, be sure to read the label carefully to choose products with minimal processing. Limiting your intake of fast food and sugary drinks may also help you avoid the harmful effects of these foods.
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†Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Product results may vary from person to person.