Meta-analysis suggests about 40% of people below the age of 25 have hypertension, which in 2015, was about 1 billion people worldwide.
Hypertension is the most critical risk factor for premature cardiovascular disease and accounts for 50% of all ischemic heart disease and stroke events.
Many different things cause hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
Causes of Hypertension
- Family medical history
- Stress levels
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Certain birth controls
Foods to avoid
Some foods are better than others, and according to meta-analysis and other research studies, these are some foods you should avoid if you struggle with hypertension.
- Processed meats (7% increase 0-30 grams per day (g/d))
- Canned foods
- High-sodium foods
- Fried foods
- Fatty meats
- Oils high in trans fat
- Table salt
- Fish (can increase hypertension by up to 8% if you consume more than 100 g/d).
- Red meat (can increase by 14% if you consume more than 100g/d)
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (13% increase)
Foods to gravitate to
It is important to note, there is no single food or food group that will drastically lower your blood pressure. Consistent, balanced, and healthy eating combined with a productive lifestyle can help maintain lower blood pressure.
- Fruit (can decrease hypertension by 7% with 100-300 g/d)
- Fat-free dairy products (15% decrease with 200-800 mL/d)
- Legumes (5% decrease until 70 g/d)
- Whole grains (15% decrease)
- Orange juice
A commonly accepted diet for hypertension is the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
This diet includes consuming less than 2500 mg of sodium daily and less saturated fats. While consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The DASH diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes by 20%.
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