3 Foods that Raise Your Blood Pressure

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

April 18, 2018

  • Are you grilling your way to high blood pressure?
  • The “other” white crystals that contribute to hypertension
  • 4 nutrients to improve your blood pressure readings

If you are trying to maintain a healthy blood pressure, you probably analyze labels very carefully for salt content. But did you know that there are other foods and beverages – ones that aren’t high in salt – that can affect your blood pressure too?

For example, most folks don’t realize that something as simple as the way you cook your meat can raise your chances of high blood pressure by as much as 17%.

You see, when you cook meat, poultry and fish at high temperatures, they create cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic aromatic amines. The more charred the meat, the more of these compounds are produced. A similar unintended consequence occurs forming acrylamides (a DNA mutagen) while cooking high starch content foods in high temperature, think  French fries or potato chips.

Well, here’s the thing.

In addition to promoting cancer, these toxic chemicals will affect the inner lining of your blood vessels, increasing oxidative stress and inflammation in those critical life giving arteries of your heart, brain and well, your other organs. This, in turn, appears to lead to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure. The more grilled, broiled and charred animal proteins you eat, the greater your chances of experiencing blood pressure problems.

To protect your health and maintain a healthy blood pressure, I recommend baking, basting, poaching and slow-roasting your animal products whenever possible. These methods produce fewer heterocyclic aromatic amines than high heat methods.

If you’re serious about your blood pressure, there are also a few other foods and beverages I need to warn you about.

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Sugar may be as bad as Salt

When it comes to blood pressure, salt isn’t the only kind of small white crystals you need to think about.

It turns out that that added sugars, particularly fructose, are also linked increased blood pressure. In fact, excess sugar intake for eight weeks or more can increase your top number (systolic) by as much as 7.6 points and your bottom number (diastolic) by about 6.1 points.

To top it off, we now know that sugars fill your bloodstream with deadly small, dense LDL particles. These are the type of LDL that slip into your arteries and cause the plaque buildup associated with heart attacks.

Energy drinks are another blood pressure disaster. They aren’t just high in sugar and caffeine. They are also loaded with other stimulants that can have an immediate effect on blood pressure.

In young adults, a single 16 ounce energy drink knocks blood pressure up by over 6% in just a half hour. However, unlike the results of drinking caffeine-only beverages, blood pressure stays elevated for six or more hours after the consumption of energy drinks.

Worse, drinking 32 ounces of one of these beverages can actually interfere with the heart’s electrical activity.

Now stop and think about this for a moment: If energy drinks have these effects on young adults, just imagine how dangerous they can be for older adults who are already having heart and blood pressure issues! (This may be part of the reason emergency room visits involving energy drinks among people aged 40 and older increased almost 300% over just a six year period.)

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Getting your blood pressure under control is a pressing issue. Otherwise it can damage your arteries and increase your chances of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. It can even contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A healthy diet and plenty of physical activity are key. But if they aren’t enough, there are a few supplements you can add to your daily regimen.

Increasing your nitric oxide (NO) levels is a great way to maintain healthy blood pressure. This compound helps relax and expand blood vessels. This allows blood to surge through them exactly the way it should – without having to force its way through the blood vessels.

For example, as little as 250 ml of beetroot juice each day can lower your blood pressure by about 8/4 mmHg (8 points on the top number, 4 points on the bottom number). It also reduces arterial stiffness and thickening of the arteries.

If the idea of drinking beetroot juice turns you off, you can get the same benefits by taking a high quality NO booster with beetroot juice as its main ingredient.

I also recommend getting more garlic in your diet. The effects of this “stinky rose” are similar to those of the beta blocker atenolol, without the side effects. Garlic can also reduce plaque in your arteries and improve circulation.

Just two cloves a day will do the job. Or if you want to keep your breath sweet smelling, try a supplement of 1200 mg. aged garlic extract each day in divided doses of 600 mg. twice a day.

I’ll also give you a little trick to counter the effects of too much salt. Just add 4,700 mg of potassium and 400 to 800 mg of magnesium in your regular diet. (Most people do well with at least 5 mg. of magnesium per pound of body weight in two separate doses, morning and bedtime.)

Not only will these minerals improve your blood pressure, they’ll also cut your chances of coronary artery disease and stroke.


Grilling and other high-temperature cooking may raise risk of high blood pressure

American Heart Association Meeting Report – Poster Presentation P184 – Session P02

News Release. American Heart Association. Mar 2018.

Knize MG, et al. Formation and human risk of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines formed from natural precursors in meat. Nutr Rev. 2005 May;63(5):158-65.

DiNicolantonio JJ, Lucan SC. The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease. Open Heart. 2014;1:e000167.

Kearns CE, et al. Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Nov 1;176(11):1680-1685.

Svatikova A, et al. A Randomized Trial of Cardiovascular Responses to Energy Drink Consumption in Healthy Adults. JAMA, 2015 Nov 17;314(19):2079-82.

Energy drinks linked to more heart, blood pressure changes than caffeinated drinks alone.

American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report. News Release. American Heart Association. April 2017.

Mattson, ME. Update on Emergency Department Visits Involving Energy Drinks: A Continuing Public Health Concern. Published: January 10, 2013.

Webb AJ, et al. Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite.Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90.

Kapil V, et al. Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: a randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Hypertension. 2015 Feb;65(2):320-7.

Ashraf R, et al. Effects of Allium sativum (Garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2013 Sep;26(5):859-63.

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