Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries while the heart pumps. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped, as well as the size and flexibility of your arteries.
When it’s difficult for blood to flow through your blood vessels, the pressure against the walls of your vessels will increase. This can cause high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
High blood pressure hurts your kidneys?
High blood pressure makes your heart work harder. It is especially harmful to the tiny blood vessels in your body, such as the ones in your kidneys. If the blood vessels in your kidneys are damaged, your kidneys may not effectively remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. The extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise your blood pressure even more.
High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure, also called end stage renal disease (ESRD).
How can I prevent high blood pressure from damaging my kidneys?
One in three adults worldwide is suffering from hypertension and is at a risk for kidney disease. High blood pressure is a leading cause of kidney disease and increases your risk of developing a heart attack or stroke. There is no cure, but treatment and lifestyle changes, including taking high blood pressure medications, following a healthy diet and exercising regularly can keep your blood pressure under check(130/80 mm of hg).
Even if you’re taking medications to lower blood pressure, it’s important to reduce your sodium intake by cutting down on high salt foods and certain other foods as mentioned below.
Five foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure:
- Fried foods: You are at a higher risk for high blood cholesterol if your diet includes deep fried foods quite often. Fried foods are loaded with fat and swimming in grease. Foods cooked with hydrogenated oils like margarine cause arteries to harden (atherosclerosis) and in turn increase your blood pressure. Instead use oils that are unsaturated, such as olive oil. Opt for cooking methods that uses little or not fat. Rather than deep-frying or pan-frying, cook your food by steaming, baking, broiling, roasting, grilling, or stir-frying it. Limit your daily oil/fat intake to 6-8 tablespoons. Do not forget to count those used in cooking. When going out to eat, be wary of the words like: fried, crispy, pan-fried, sautéed, buttered, or creamed. They usually mean the dish is packed with heart-harming saturated fats.
- Salt: Generally we consume a lot more salt than is actually required . Even a small reduction in the amount of salt can reduce the blood pressure to a considerable extent. Just half a teaspoon of salt contains about 1,200 mg sodium which is almost 60% of your daily allowance(2,000 mg) of salt from all resources. Consumption of excess salt in food increases the chances of damage to the heart by increasing the blood pressure. Always check the food label on any food product to find the total sodium present in the food. Do not use sauces, mixes and instant foods frequently because they contain a lot of pre-added salt. Try avoiding pickles and papads. Too much salt goes in their preparation. Instead, use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning blends in cooking and at the table.
- Sugar and baked products: Sugar and sweets made from it like mithais, candies, pastries, cakes, etc. should be avoided. Baked products on the other hand are packed with salted saturated fats, sodium rich leavening agents (baking powder). This can lead to increase in blood pressure and also obesity. Many researches have proven that obese individuals are more prone to develop hypertension.
- Alcohol: Alcohol, though not considered a ‘food’ because of poor nutritional value, contains a lot of calories. It also damages the artery walls giving rise to hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to blood flowing with higher pressure in the arteries. Try avoiding alcohol or keep it under check.
- Canned and Processed foods: These foods are usually high in salt and other additives that contain sodium like Monosodium glutamate(MSG) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Processed foods include Frozen foods, ready-to-eat meals, instant soups and foods, foods preserved in brine, canned fruits, packed cheese and fast foods. Try to read labels before buying a product to find out the salt content. Also look for different brands for the same product and try to find the one with lowest salt content. Instead use freshly made foods, juices, fruits, vegetables, fresh poultry, fish and lean (fat free white meat) meat.
Your diet is the first line of defense for prevention of hypertension and related Kidney disease. In order to live healthy and happy, you ought to take lifestyle modifications seriously along with certain changes in your diet. Eat Healthy, stay healthy!
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