Blood pressure refers to the pressure that circulates in the blood vessels. Most of the pressure is due to the pumping of the heart. It is usually expressed in terms of systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the maximum pressure when the heart is beating while diastolic pressure is the pressure between beats. It is one of the vital signs besides heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and body temperature. Blood pressure is influenced by factors such as arterial stiffness, cardiac output, total peripheral resistance emotional state, situation, activity, and health states.
High blood pressure occurs when blood pressure is persistently elevated (above 130/80 or 140/90 mmHg). It can be classified as primary or secondary high blood pressure. It has been estimated that about 90 to 95 percent of cases are primary due to genetic and lifestyle factors. The remaining 5 to 10 percent can be attributed to identifiable causes such as chronic kidney disease, endocrine disorders, kidney artery narrowing, and use of birth control pills.
High blood pressure affects about 16 to 37 percent of the global population. In 2010, it was estimated that high blood pressure was a factor that contributed to about 18 percent of global deaths (9.4 million). This article looks at 10 foods that cause high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Causing Food #1: Lunch Meats
Lunch meats, deli meats, and cold meats are precooked meats that are usually presliced. Lunch meats can be bought at various stores. Canned lunch meats include brands such as Spam. Most lunch meats have a high sodium, fat, and nitrate content. Processed meats such as lunch meats have been found to have a significant contribution to the incidence of diabetes and heart disease even when compared to red meat.
A study involving 448,568 individuals in Europe found that there is an association between the consumption of processed meat and higher mortality rates due to cancer and cardiovascular disease. For example, a 2-ounce serving of lunch meat can contain about 500 mg of sodium, if not more.