Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure

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Your diet could be both the trigger and solution to many health problems, including hypertension. While some foods are able to lower your reading, others could boost it instead. A health body warns that one specific pasta ingredient should be avoided due to blood pressure risk.

While pasta is a popular dish that meets various needs, from speed to cost-effectiveness, it might not be the healthiest option.

There are obvious tweaks that could make a plate of this meal healthier, such as adding veggies or going for the whole-grain option.

But when it comes to your blood pressure levels, the sauce could represent a bigger problem due to free sugars.

Blood Pressure UK states: “Avoid ready-made sauces such as pasta sauce, as they tend to have sugar added to them.”

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Even though salt is a major risk factor for hypertension, sugar is not ideal either.

The charity explains that it all comes down to weight gain. It shares: “Foods with added sugar tend to be high in calories but often provide very little or no nutritional value. 

“The extra energy can make you gain weight which can raise your blood pressure. It can also lead to diabetes. 

“Raised blood pressure and diabetes both raise your risk of heart disease and stroke, especially if you have both at the same time.”

In case you’re not aware, free sugars describe the kind people talk about when eating too much – think sugars added to foods or drinks.

However, even the likes of honey and unsweetened fruit juice represent free sugar sources.

The government advises that adults energy intake includes only five percent of free sugars, which represents the equivalent of 30 grams.

Blood Pressure UK recommends cutting down on sugar and avoiding ready-made pasta sauces due to their sugar levels.

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However, sugar isn’t the only risky part of a pasta sauce as the ingredient could also pack a lot of salt.

Salt poses an obvious risk for your levels as eating too much causes water retention.

“If you eat too much, the extra water in your blood means there is extra pressure on your blood vessel walls, raising your blood pressure,” Blood Pressure UK explains.

Fortunately, cutting back on the common seasoning is one of the “simplest” ways of lowering your reading.

You can start to see the difference very quickly, even within weeks.

The NHS recommends eating no more than six grams of salt a day. This amount is the equivalent of 2.4 grams of sodium.

Blood Pressure UK explains that it’s necessary to be mindful of the salt hidden in products that you buy in the store as your salt shaker isn’t the only source of the seasoning.

“This hidden salt accounts for around three quarters (75percent) of the salt we eat, only a small amount comes from the salt we add while cooking or at the table,” the charity concludes.

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