6 Worst Snacks for High Blood Pressure – Eat This, Not That

If you try to lower your blood pressureyou’ve probably had to make changes to your diet, especially when it comes to watching your sodium intake.

“Eating too much sodium was shown to raise blood pressure in some people, so it’s important to understand which foods are high in sodium and how that might impact your blood pressure,” says Amber PankoninMS, RD, LMNT, CECdietitian, chef and owner of the food blog Waiting list.

According to American Heart Associationsodium (aka salt) is one of the worst things you can eat if you have high blood pressure because it causes your blood vessels to narrow while causing your heart to pump more into them blood, which raises blood pressure and forces your heart to work harder.

“If you have high blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommended no more than 1,500 mg per day,” says Pankonin. “It could mean major life changes when it comes to shopping and dining out.

And if you don’t have high blood pressure, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg per day. For reference, here’s what it looks like in the table measurements:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt = 575 mg of sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt = 1,150 mg of sodium
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt = 1725 mg of sodium
  • 1 teaspoon of salt = 2,300 mg of sodium

This can make snacking difficult, especially since the processed foods many of us often eat at snack time and tend to be high in sodium. Here is six of the worst snacks for high blood pressure, according to dietitians.

Shutterstock / chanwangrong

“This snack could be good for road trips and baseball games, but it’s terrible for blood pressure,” says Pankonin. “Depending on the brand, sunflower seeds can contain up to 1,000 mg of sodium or more per serving.

meat cheese and crackers

“Talk about a triple whammy of sodium,” says registered dietitian Jonathan ValdezRDNOwner of GenkiNutrition and spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Processed meats use sodium for preservation, salt is used to flavor cheese and inhibit the growth of bacteria, and crackers are loaded with salt. Look for raw meats, low-sodium cheeses like Parmesan or Swiss cheese, and low-sodium crackers. »

fries and queso

“Processed cheese products like Velveeta contain 390 mg of sodium per serving,” says Pankonin. “When it comes to queso or dips, it’s hard to estimate portion sizes, which makes it easy to overeat.

pickles in a jar

“Even though pickles are low in calories and very filling, they are very high in sodium,” says Pankonin. “Most range from 250 mg to 300 mg of sodium per 1 oz serving.”

assorted canned soups

“Want to eat that canned broth as a snack on a cold day? Think again. If you’re making a cube to make broth, 1 cube can contain nearly 1,000 mg of sodium,” Valdez says. “There are lower sodium options, so be sure to read the food label.”

RELATED: These are the best snacks for a faster metabolism, say dietitians

plain bagels

“Bagels or products like bagel bites may contain quite a bit of sodium. Bagels may not taste salty, especially when served with sweet cream cheese,” says Pankonin. “So for those with high blood pressure, it’s important to understand that baked convenience foods may contain some sodium.”

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