High blood pressure can seem innocuous at fist because it rarely produces symptoms, but it can lead to more serious conditions. That’s because it causes your blood vessels to harden and narrow, which can choke the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. Fortunately, you can reverse the conditions by making healthy dietary decisions, although some are easier to make than others.
This is particularly true when it comes to choosing what to eat for breakfast in the morning.
As David Wiener, training specialist at AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics explains to the Express.co.uk, there are patently obvious breakfast foods or drinks that should be avoided when trying to control your blood pressure levels.
Obvious culprits include bacon and white toast with butter, to name only a few, he says.
“However, there are some sneakily unhealthy foods that you may be reaching for when trying to opt for a healthy alternative which could be raising your blood pressure reading,” says Wiener.
One deceptive dietary decision is opting for fruity yoghurt.
“Fruity yogurts are often packed full of carbohydrates and sugar which can wreak havoc on your blood pressure levels,” warns Wiener.
Why is sugar so risky?
Research shows that sugar contributes to weight gain in adults and children.
Studies indicate that being overweight and obesity predispose people to high blood pressure.
What’s more, added sugar, which often finds its way into yoghurts, may also have a direct effect on increasing blood pressure, according to a review.
As Wiener points out, plain yoghurt is a much safer bet and has been shown to have a positive effect on high blood pressure.
Greek yogurt in a particular is a nutrient-dense dairy product that’s packed with minerals that help regulate blood pressure, including potassium and calcium.
A review of 28 studies found that consuming 3 servings of dairy per day was associated with a 13 percent lower risk of high blood pressure, as well as that a seven-ounce (200-gram) increase in dairy intake per day was associated with a five percent reduction in hypertension risk.
What other ostensibly healthy items should you be weary of?
“Eating processed cereals can be the worst way to start your day if you are prone to getting high blood pressure,” warns Wiener.
As Wiener explains, even the cereals that claim to be ‘healthy’ or packed full of protein can cause an increase in blood pressure.
“Most of them are still highly processed and contain far more carbohydrates and hidden sugars than you may realise which can contribute to a higher blood pressure reading,” he says.
Any breakfast food item that is full of salt or sodium is also guaranteed to raise your blood pressure reading, says Wiener.
“Eating too much salt causes your body to hold in extra water in order to rid the excess salt from your body- this can cause your blood pressure to rise,” he explains.
“In addition, the added water puts stress on your heart and blood vessels,” adds Wiener.
According to the NHS, you should aim to eat less than six grams (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
“Remember, whether you’re eating at home, cooking or eating out, don’t add salt to your food automatically – taste it first,” it advises.