Top Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure


In America, almost one in three adults are living with high blood pressure, that’s why the topic of dietary recommendations for high blood pressure is becoming more and more popular these days. What causes high blood pressure? Normally not consuming enough vegetables and fruits can result in a high sodium intake and low potassium intake, which can contribute to developing high blood pressure. So with high blood pressure, you are recommended to have a diet low in sodium and fat, avoid these foods:

  • Pickles

Pickles are super low in calories and fat, and are also high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot after the injury, that’s great. But they are loaded with sodium, one medium pickle provides more than 570mg of sodium, that’s more than 1/3 of the daily recommended needs. So if you’re with high blood pressure, limit your pickle intake.

  • Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is with several health benefits, including providing vitamin C and K, iron and a good amount of fiber, and it also boosts your immune system, but you should limit the amount you eat, or choose low-sodium brands, as a half cup of it has more than 460 mg of sodium, 19% of your recommended daily intake.

  • Bacon

Bacon is not only delicious, it’s also like other pork products, contains B-vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12), vitamin D as well as the minerals zinc, iron and magnesium, which are all essential for a positive health body. But why most people feel afraid to eat it? As it’s super high in sodium, three slices contain around 270 mg of sodium and 4.5 grams of fat, so it’s wise to try turkey bacon for lower sodium intake instead of the salty&fatty pork bacon.

  • Whole Milk

When you’re trying to build muscle, whole milk is your best choice, it provides more fat than you need, a one cup serving of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat. While if you are living with high blood pressure, try using 2% milk, or even better-skim milk, as the saturated fats whole milk contains are bad for you and may lead to heart disease.

  • Donuts

People like donuts, for its sweet taste, but they are not good for your health. A single donut can provide more than 300 calories and 12 grams of fat, as they’re fried, means you’re getting lots of saturated and trans fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

  • Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are popular among college students all over the world, as they’re inexpensive and so convenient. However, it’s not a healthy choice as they’re lack of nutrients and with lots of unhealthy components. One package of ramen provides 14 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat, and 1731 grams of sodium, more than 70% of the recommended daily needs! In fact, the flavor packet contains most of the sodium, so to reduce sodium intake, it’s better to not add the flavor packet.

  • Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol may raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels, and alcohol can damage the walls of blood vessels. For people with high blood pressure, avoid alcohol totally or drink in moderation. Moderate drinking is generally considered to be:

  • One drink for men age more than 65 per day
  • Two drinks for men younger than age 65 per day
  • One drink for women of any age per day

A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

If you have high blood pressure, limit eating these above foods and focusing on low-sodium foods can help. Some good choices are: potassium-rich bananas, salt-free seasonings, potassium-packed white potatoes, fresh fish, nutrient-packed lima beans, iron-rich spinach, omega-3 fatty acids-rich flaxseed.

Low-Sodium Diet May Increase Heart Disease Risk For Those Without High Blood Pressure

Salty Death

Not eating enough salt can increase your risk for heart disease and death, despite high blood pressure.

Across the United States, roughly 80 million adults are at greater risk for heart disease and stroke because of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. But while nearly all Americans consume more salt than they should, exacerbating their risk, not everyone should switch to a low-salt diet. A team of researchers from McMaster University’s School of Medicine, found that while lowering salt intake is key to keeping those with high blood pressure in check, cutting out too much salt could put them at greater risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

“These are extremely important findings for those who are suffering from hypertension pressure who also consume high sodium diets,” said the study’s lead author Andrew Mente, researcher and professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster’s School of Medicine, in a statement. “While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels.”

For the new study, published in the journal The Lancet, researchers analyzed the health data of 133,118 participants, 63,559 of whom were diagnosed with hypertension and 69,559 who did not test positive for hypertension. They compared average and high sodium intake to see if there was a link between high sodium intake and heart attack, stroke, and death. Those who were on low-sodium diets were more likely to experience heart attacks, strokes, and death than those who consumed moderate amounts of sodium in their diets.

The findings reveal that the only people who should be worrying about reducing sodium in their diet are salty-food fiends with high blood pressure. It’s important to keep your blood pressure levels in check because in most cases there are no warning signs or symptoms of elevated blood pressure, giving it the name “silent killer.” According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure signifies blood is being transported through the arteries with a greater force than is normal, which places an unhealthy burden on the heart.

Beneath The Salt Ceiling

Some people’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than others. However, consuming too much sodium leads to fluid retention and high blood pressure. Those who are sodium sensitive or who have a history of heart problems or hypertension in their family, may want to reduce the amount of salt, but also need to make sure they’re consuming the right amount.

Mente said. “Low sodium intake reduces blood pressure modestly, compared to average intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including adverse elevations of certain hormones which may outweigh any benefits.”

Once you go below 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, there are no benefits to the heart, but instead the potential for harm. When the body is cut off from a sufficient supply of sodium, it struggles to regulate the water consumption of its cells, causing them to swell up. Eventuallyfatigue will set in, followed by nausea, confusion, muscle weakness, and cramps.

According to the Mayo Clinic, many people aren’t aware of how much sodium they consume each day. A single teaspoon of table salt, which is a blend of sodium and chloride, has 2,325 milligrams of sodium. Meanwhile, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends keeping sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams a day or less. Sodium and chloride are two electrolytes that help maintain fluid balance, nerve impulses, and help the body absorb glucose, amino acids, and water, ultimately regulating the body’s blood pressure.

“This study adds to our understanding of the relationship between salt intake and health, and questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low sodium intake in the entire population,” said the study’s co-author Dr. Martin O’Donnell, a clinical professor at McMaster University, in the statement. “An approach that recommends salt in moderation, particularly focused on those with hypertension, appears more in-line with current evidence.”

Source: Yusuf S, Teo K, and Mente A, et al. Associations of urinary sodium excretion with cardiovascular events in individuals with and without hypertension: a pooled analysis of data from four studies. The Lancet. 2016.

CKD: Lower Salt Intake May Reduce Heart Risks.

A diet with restricted salt intake may help to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), as well as the risk for CKD progression, according to an article published online November 7 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Emma J. McMahon, PhD candidate, University of Queensland, Australia, and colleagues conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized crossover trial involving 20 adult patients with stage 3 to 4 CKD. In the phase I portion of the LowSALT CKD study, the researchers evaluated the effects of high vs low sodium intake on several physiological measures, including ambulatory blood pressure, protein excretion, and body fluid status.

The researchers counseled patients to eat a low-sodium (1080 – 1440 mg/day) diet during the 1-week run-in period of the 6-week study, they then randomly assigned patients to either a high-sodium or low-sodium diet. Those on the high-sodium diet had a goal of 1080 to 1440 mg/day plus 2160 mg/day from a slow-release tablet. Those on the low-sodium diet had a goal of 1080 to 1440 mg/day plus a placebo capsule. Patients crossed over after an intermediate washout week.

The investigators found a mean reduction of 9.7/3.9 mm Hg in blood pressure in patients on the low-salt diet compared with the high-salt diet. The reductions were consistent during a 24-hour period with no significant difference between daytime and nighttime measurements. Researchers also found that patients had reductions in fluid volume, body weight, and protein in the urine while on the low-salt diet.

“If these findings are transferable to the larger CKD population and shown to be sustainable long-term, this could translate to markedly reduced risk of cardiovascular events and progression to end-stage kidney disease, and it could generate considerable health-care savings,” senior author Katrina J. Campbell, PhD, from Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland, said in a news release.

“These are clinically significant findings, with this magnitude of blood pressure reduction being comparable to that expected with the addition of an anti-hypertensive medication and larger than effects usually seen with sodium restriction in people without CKD,” McMahon noted in the release. “If maintained long-term, this could reduce risk of progression to end-stage kidney disease — where dialysis or transplant is required to survive — by 30%.”

“This study is salient because few intervention studies have evaluated dietary sodium reduction in patients with CKD, write Cheryl A.M. Anderson, PhD, MPH, and Joachim H. Ix, MD, both from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in an accompanying editorial. “The evaluation of other outcomes in addition to BP is an additional strength of the trial.”

Aggressive Fluid and Sodium Restriction in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure.

Importance  The benefits of fluid and sodium restriction in patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) are unclear.

Objective  To compare the effects of a fluid-restricted (maximum fluid intake, 800 mL/d) and sodium-restricted (maximum dietary intake, 800 mg/d) diet (intervention group [IG]) vs a diet with no such restrictions (control group [CG]) on weight loss and clinical stability during a 3-day period in patients hospitalized with ADHF.

Design  Randomized, parallel-group clinical trial with blinded outcome assessments.

Setting  Emergency room, wards, and intensive care unit.

Participants  Adult inpatients with ADHF, systolic dysfunction, and a length of stay of 36 hours or less.

Intervention  Fluid restriction (maximum fluid intake, 800 mL/d) and additional sodium restriction (maximum dietary intake, 800 mg/d) were carried out until the seventh hospital day or, in patients whose length of stay was less than 7 days, until discharge. The CG received a standard hospital diet, with liberal fluid and sodium intake.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Weight loss and clinical stability at 3-day assessment, daily perception of thirst, and readmissions within 30 days.

Results  Seventy-five patients were enrolled (IG, 38; CG, 37). Most were male; ischemic heart disease was the predominant cause of heart failure (17 patients [23%]), and the mean (SD) left ventricular ejection fraction was 26% (8.7%). The groups were homogeneous in terms of baseline characteristics. Weight loss was similar in both groups (between-group difference in variation of 0.25 kg [95% CI, −1.95 to 2.45]; P = .82) as well as change in clinical congestion score (between-group difference in variation of 0.59 points [95% CI, −2.21 to 1.03]; P = .47) at 3 days. Thirst was significantly worse in the IG (5.1 [2.9]) than the CG (3.44 [2.0]) at the end of the study period (between-group difference, 1.66 points; time × group interaction; P = .01). There were no significant between-group differences in the readmission rate at 30 days (IG, 11 patients [29%]; CG, 7 patients [19%]; P = .41).

Conclusions and Relevance  Aggressive fluid and sodium restriction has no effect on weight loss or clinical stability at 3 days and is associated with a significant increase in perceived thirst. We conclude that sodium and water restriction in patients admitted for ADHF are unnecessary.

Source: JAMA


Salt Linked to Autoimmune Diseases .



Nanowires used to disarm single genes in cells without harming or altering them were used to reveal that sodium chloride might cause harmful T cell growth

The incidence of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, has spiked in developed countries in recent decades. In three studies published today in Nature, researchers describe the molecular pathways that can lead to autoimmune disease and identify one possible culprit that has been right under our noses — and on our tables — the entire time: salt.

To stay healthy, the human body relies on a careful balance: too little immune function and we succumb to infection, too much activity and the immune system begins to attack healthy tissue, a condition known as autoimmunity. Some forms of autoimmunity have been linked to overproduction of TH17 cells, a type of helper T cell that produces an inflammatory protein called interleukin-17.

But finding the molecular switches that cause the body to overproduce TH17 cells has been difficult, in part because conventional methods of activating native immune cells in the laboratory often harm the cells or alters the course of their development.

So when researchers heard a talk by Hongkun Park, a physicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about the use of silicone nanowires to disarm single genes in cells, they approached him immediately, recalls Aviv Regev, a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (also in Cambridge) and a co-author on two of the studies.

Park showed last year that these nanowires can be used to manipulate genes in immune cells without affecting the cells’ functions. For the first of the Nature studies, Regev and her colleagues used Park’s technology to piece together a functional model of how TH17 cells are controlled, she says. “Otherwise,” she says, they would have been only “guessing in the dark.”

In the second study, an affiliated team of researchers observed immune cell production over 72 hours. One protein kept cropping up as a TH17-signal: serum glucocorticoid kinase 1 (SGK1), which is known to regulate salt levels in other types of cells. The researchers found that mouse cells cultured in high-salt conditions had higher SGK1 expression and produced more TH17 cells than those grown in normal conditions.

“If you incrementally increase salt, you get generation after generation of these TH17 cells,” says study co-author Vijay Kuchroo, an immunologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

In the third study, researchers confirmed Kuchroo’s findings, in mouse and human cells. It was “an easy experiment — you just add salt”, says David Hafler, a neurologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, who led the research.

But could salt change the course of autoimmune disease? Both Kuchroo and Hafler found that in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, a high-salt diet accelerated the disease’s progression.

All this evidence, Kuchroo says, “is building a very interesting hypothesis [that] salt may be one of the environmental triggers of autoimmunity”.

But Kuchroo and other researchers say that evidence so far cannot predict the effect of salt on human autoimmunity. “As a physician, I’m very cautious,” Hafler says. “Should patients go on a low-salt diet? Yes,” he says, adding that “people should probably already be on a low-salt diet” for general health concerns.

Other experts are intrigued by the findings. “They have a very clear effect in vitro,” says John O’Shea, scientific director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Intramural Research Program in Bethesda, Maryland. But Hafler and others note that there are likely many cell types and environmental factors involved in triggering autoimmunity.

The results offer tantalizing leads for drug targets for autoimmune conditions. But O’Shea notes that it is unclear whether TH17 proliferation is a factor in all autoimmune disease. A targeted drug that might work to relieve psoriasis might not subdue rheumatoid arthritis. “When we say autoimmunity, we’re implying that it’s one thing,” O’Shea says. “But it’s not one thing — it’s heterogeneous.”

Source: Scientific American.