Click on these common assumptions below to find out how much you really know about controlling high blood pressure.
Stress can raise your blood pressure, right?
Believe it or not, there is no firm link between stress and chronic high blood pressure. But, in a stressful situation, our body can secrete hormones that raise blood pressure momentarily. Over the long run, these spikes could damage blood vessels in a way similar to persistent high blood pressure. Though stress management techniques may not prevent high blood pressure, they may have other overall health benefits that may help reduce blood pressure.
Can drinking coffee affect my blood pressure?
Not necessarily. Consuming excessive caffeine in coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate may cause a temporary spike in blood pressure. If you think you might be sensitive to the effects of caffeine, talk to your doctor.
Is soup a good choice for a low-sodium diet?
Could be, if you choose the right kind. One cup of soup can have up to 1,300 mg of sodium—higher than many small servings of fast food French fries. However, there are lots of low-sodium, reduced-sodium, or "no-salt added" varieties on the supermarket shelves. So check the nutrition label before you stock up.
Will eating fatty foods affect my blood pressure?
Foods high in fat do not directly affect blood pressure. However, saturated fats and cholesterol in foods raise blood cholesterol, which increase your risk for heart disease. Fatty foods are high in calories and may contribute to weight gain or maintaining an unhealthy weight, which is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. So eating a healthy, balanced diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods is the way to go.
Are healthy frozen dinners really healthy?
Not all frozen dinners are created equal. Even "healthy" or "low-calorie" types can contain a lot of sodium — sometimes over 1,500mg in a single portion. Always check the labels for sodium content. And frozen dinners aren't the only culprit. Frozen pizzas, boxed mixes, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings can also can have a lot of sodium. So when you're buying packaged goods, don't make any assumptions. And start with fresh, unseasoned ingredients when you can.