About 75 million American adults — one in every three American adults — suffer from high blood pressure, according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC). Hypertension, as it is also called, greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. It has been called a “silent killer” because it has no symptoms. It is also the number one killer of Black men and women in the U.S.
Hypertension is such a subtle disease, which is why it is also so deadly. You may not know if you have high blood pressure. In fact, nearly 28 percent of Americans don’t even know they have high blood pressure. But you can prevent high blood pressure by doing these 3 things: maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.
If you have a family history of high blood pressure, you may be at risk for the disease. The CDC also suggests that genetic factors likely play some role in high blood pressure, heart disease, and other related conditions. However, the Center also points out that people with a family history of high blood pressure likely share the common environments and other potential factors that can increase their risk. Further, the risk for high blood pressure can increase even more when heredity combines with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes and eating an unhealthy diet.
But the good news is that it can be prevented. Black men and women who wish to avoid an early death should immediately change their diet, which may require reducing and/or completely avoiding eating foods that are high in sodium. For people at high risk, there are foods you absolutely should never eat. These foods are particularly high in sodium, which increases blood pressure.
They include canned spaghetti sauce; boxed cereals and microwavable side dishes; canned/instant soup; donuts; frozen pizza; red meat; whole milk; deli meat/hot dogs; pickles; and Chinese takeout food. All of these foods on other similar foods can have as much as 7,980 mg of salt, or three days worth of sodium in just one meal.