Consuming small amounts of alcohol has been shown to be beneficial to heart health and can even lower blood pressure. However, studies have shown that consuming more than one drink a day can actually increase your blood pressure by several points and can lead to hypertension.
Refined sugars contribute to fat deposition in the body, and this often results in obesity. Sugars have been shown to increase blood pressure, particularly in those who are overweight.
Caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee can cause a significant spike in blood pressure. Caffeine may cause the adrenal glands to release excess cortisol and adrenaline — these substances typically cause a further rise in blood pressure.
Fries are typically prepared in oils made of trans fats, which lead to obesity and heart disease. In addition, the average serving of fast-food fries can have nearly 300 grams of sodium in just one serving.
Items such as cured hams, frozen dinners, canned soups, etc. can contain large amounts of salt. Salt causes the kidneys to retain fluid and the body hangs onto excess water. This increase in blood volume can result in a significant increase in blood pressure. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to limit salt intake to less than 2,300 grams a day (1 teaspoon).
These processed foods again contain a great deal of sodium and can directly affect the ability of the kidneys to remove excess water. The retention of water contributes to elevations in blood pressure.
Chinese food is laden with sodium. A common entrée such as beef and broccoli can contain almost 3,000 milligrams of sodium. If you add soy sauce, add an additional 1,000 milligrams. This type of salt load can substantially raise blood pressure and cause you to retain excess fluid
Frozen pizza can contain as much as 2,500 milligrams of sodium, along with lots of carbohydrates and fat. This entrée can contribute to elevated blood pressure as well.
Pickled vegetables also contain a substantial sodium load. These tasty treats can raise blood pressure, as they contain nearly 2,000 milligrams of sodium.
Sugary drinks can lead to obesity and excess fat deposition. As we mentioned earlier, obesity often results in hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes.