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7 Foods That Increase the Risk of Hypertension

Surveys indicate that about one-third of adults have high blood pressure. Another third of the adult population has a condition known as prehypertension. Eating a diet consisting of lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and getting adequate amounts of physical activity are some natural ways to decrease hypertension risk factors.

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional home caregiver. Albuquerque families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

There are a number of foods seniors should consider avoiding to reduce their risk of hypertension.

1. Salt

This common seasoning causes fluid retention in many older adults. The extra fluid adds vascular pressure and often leaks into surrounding tissues. As a result, seniors may notice swollen feet, ankles, and lower legs. Dietary guidelines recommend consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of salt each day. However, modern diets often contain up to 3,400 milligrams. 

2. Bottled or Canned Tomatoes

Processed tomato products are another concern for seniors with high blood pressure. Canned tomatoes, tomato juice, and pasta sauces all have high salt levels. A one-half cup serving of spaghetti sauce contains 450 milligrams of sodium. One cup of tomato juice has approximately 650 milligrams of salt. Consider using low-sodium options or make juice and sauces from fresh tomatoes. 

3. Canned Soups

Canned soups and broths are convenient foods seniors often have as comfort food or as part of a meal. However, one-half cup of canned soup may contain up to 890 milligrams of salt. An entire can contains 2,225 milligrams of sodium. Try choosing low-sodium options, or simply make your own soup and serve it to your loved one. 

4. Deli Meats

Even though they are convenient for seniors to have on hand, deli or luncheon meats are processed with high levels of salt. A simple two-ounce serving of processed meat adds approximately 600 milligrams or more of salt to your loved one’s daily intake. Adding cheese or condiments to deli meat sandwiches quickly tilts the sodium scale. 

5. Pizza

Often touted as a complete meal, pizza is another food that contains elevated levels of salt. The crust, pizza sauce, cheeses, and meat toppings are all typically rich in sodium. One slice of pizza can add up to 1,000 milligrams of salt to your loved one’s diet. Thicker crusts and additional toppings can also increase the salt content. 

6. Fatty Foods

Chicken has fat globules beneath the skin, which also contains saturated fat. Consider removing the skin before preparing chicken for your loved one. Red meat and full-fat dairy products are also concerns for seniors. Packaged foods often contain trans fats, which is made by infusing liquid oil with air. These fats increase LDL, or bad cholesterol levels, and line blood vessels, which increases blood pressure. Saturated and trans fats also contribute to heart disease. 

7. Sugar

Having a sweet tooth can also be bad for high blood pressure. Sweetened beverages, baked goods, confections, and other sweet foods can lead to weight problems if eaten in excess without getting enough exercise to burn the calories. Overweight seniors are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Cardiovascular specialists recommend women consume no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day. For men, the amount is nine teaspoons.

Sometimes elderly loved ones need motivation to eat healthier to prevent or manage conditions such as hypertension, and a professional caregiver can help. In-home caregivers can be a boon to families as well. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite home care. Albuquerque, NM, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly care. Albuquerque families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call 505-798-0800 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.