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Foods to Avoid If You Have Hypertension

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Foods to Avoid If You Have Hypertension
Grilled Halibut on salad greens Photo Credit: Lauri Patterson/iStock/Getty Images

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, can occur at any age and can go undetected for years. Untreated hypertension can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. The good news is that you can manage hypertension through diet and lifestyle changes such as limiting alcohol, avoiding smoking and increasing your level of physical activity. One of the most recommended dietary approaches to managing hypertension is to avoid high-salt foods. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH plan, aims to do just that. Health care professionals commonly recommend the DASH diet to help lower blood pressure.

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Dietary Approach for Hypertension

Smoked salmon with avocado
Smoked salmon with avocado Photo Credit: Santje09/iStock/Getty Images

Limiting sodium to 2,300 milligrams per day can lower blood pressure, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Limiting your sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day has an even greater effect on hypertension. Helpful tips to avoid high-salt foods include choosing fresh, frozen or canned low-sodium foods and limiting cured meats such as ham and bacon. Other foods to avoid include processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna, as well as high-sodium condiments like soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Work with your health provider to come up with an eating plan that is right for you if you have hypertension.

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