1) Sugar and Salt
Sugar and salt are among the top risk factors for hypertension. A look into the packaged and fast food ingredients will show meals high in salt and sugar content, which can potentially increase blood pressure levels. These make it difficult to cut down these substances’ intake without avoiding some of our favorite foods altogether.
According to the AHA (American Heart Association), it is recommended to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium – 1 teaspoon of salt – each day. Since most of the average American sodium consumed comes from processed food rather than table salt, you need to double-check the sodium percentage on packaged food labels before eating. You also need to watch out for foods without labels like bread, rolls, and pizza.
For sugar, the AHA recommends a maximum daily consumption of 25 grams – 6 teaspoons – for women and 36 grams – 9 teaspoons – for men.
Ultimately, the best way to reduce your salt and sugar intake is to eat whole meals that are prepared fresh at home.