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The holiday season is upon us, which for many of us means shopping, family time, and unfortunately overeating.  While there isnt anything particularly indulging in delicious foods during this time of the year, those diagnosed with hypertension should be a little more discerning about the foods they consume.  According to the CDC, 1 in 3 or 33% of adults aged 20 years and older are living with high blood pressure.  Hypertension  is also responsible for 23,965 deaths a year, whether it be directly or indirectly.  Our daily consumption of sodium should be 2,300 mg or less.  Keep that figure in mind when preparing your meals this holiday season and try to avoid the following foods:

  • Pickles: A medium sized pickle measuring about 5 inches long can have about 570 mf of sodium.
  • Bacon: Three slices of bacon can have as much as 270 mg of sodium.  Switch to turkey bacon as a healthier option and only eat sparingly.
  • Pot pies: One pot pie can have a whooping 1300-1400 mg of sodium.  That’s no bueno!
  • Ramen noodles: This is geared more towards the broke college student that cant make it home for the holidays.  There are 1,580 mg of sodium in one pack of noodles.  Most of the sodium comes from the flavor packet, so you may be better off seasoning the noodles yourself.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure as well as damage blood vessels.
  • Table Salt:  This may seem like a no brainer, but hey, you never know.  What seems like common sense may not register with some people.
  • Canned chicken noodle soup:  Feeling a little under the weather? You’d be better off eating homemade chicken noodle soup because the canned stuff has 880 mg of sodium.  Thats enough to make you sick again for a whole other reason.

Of course with high blood pressure, you would also want to avoid foods high in fat (saturated and trans) and with high caloric values.  But if you must indulge, moderation is the key to a healthy you.

Remember, keep a healthy demeanor, both inside and out.