Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for March 30th, 2012

With high blood pressure you want to have a diet low in sodium and fat, so here are the top foods you should really avoid.


Pickles are low calorie, which is great, but they are loaded with sodium. One medium pickle (about 5 inches long) can have around 570 mg of sodium. That’s over 1/3 of your sodium limit (2300 mg) for the day!

Canned Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is often considered a comfort food, but it is not so comforting to know that there can be up to 880 mg of sodium in a one cup serving


It’s low calorie and a great way to add vegetables to a bratwurst, right? Nope. A half cup may only have about 13 calories, but it also has over 460 mg of sodium.

Fast Food French Fries

While many fast food chains are now frying their fries in trans fat free oil, not all of them are. Regardless, french fries still provide a large dose of fat and sodium. A medium serving of fries has about 19 grams of fat and 270 mg of sodium


Bacon is mostly fat. Three slices have 4.5 grams of fat and about 270 mg of sodium. Opt for lower sodium varieties and try turkey bacon instead of pork. Even with these switches bacon should remain a “special treat”, not an everyday indulgence.

Whole Milk

Dairy is a great source of calcium, but high fat dairy sources, like whole milk, provide more fat than you need. A one cup serving of whole milk provides 8 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated. Saturated fats are worse for you than other types and has been linked to heart disease. Try using 2% milk, or even better – 1% or skim.

Frozen Pot Pies

A single pot pie equals a serving of about 1300-1400 mg of sodium PLUS about 35 g of fat! Keep in mind that this is over 50% of your daily recommended values for both. The fat also includes trans fat, which you want to eliminate from your diet completely, and an unhealthy dose of saturated fat. Clear out your freezer!


Donuts may be popular, but they sure aren’t very good for your health and body. Just one donut packs in 200 calories with 12 grams of fat.

Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are popular among college students, but they are not a healthy meal. One package of Ramen noodles adds 14 grams of fat to your day AND 1580 MG of sodium! Interestingly, it is actually the flavor packet that contains most of that sodium. (To the left is a look at the dry noodles before adding hot water).


Margarine is not necessarily bad, you just have to make sure to pick the kind with no trans fats. Read the label closely. It is important for your health to avoid trans fats all together.


Foods with extra calories and full of sugar cause you to gain weight. Obesity is a significant determinant for high blood pressure. The extra weight puts surplus strain on the heart and slows down the blood flow.


Alcohol consumption actively causes the blood pressure to elevate.  It also damages the walls of the blood vessels, while simultaneously increases risks of further complications.

Red Meat

A healthy eating plan should include only a small amount (if any) of saturated or trans-fats.  Fatty foods are bad for both the heart and blood vessels.  Avoid red meat and fast food along with other fats that include hydrogenated oils.

Table Salt

Too much sodium does direct damage to the heart and arteries and raises blood pressure significantly.

Drink plenty of water.

Water is important for good health. Getting enough fluids (especially water) can help prevent uric acid buildup in your joints, which causes gout. The amount of water you need each day depends on several factors, including your overall health and activity level, and the climate where you live.

Limit alcohol consumption.

While getting enough fluids can help prevent gout, the condition is very common in people who drink too much alcohol. People who are prone to attacks of gout often are advised to avoid alcohol entirely.

Exercise regularly.

Regular exercise not only promotes good overall health and reduces your risk for many diseases, but also helps to prevent gout. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program and if painful joints are making physical activity difficult.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Good nutrition also plays an important role in gout prevention. However, if you’re trying to shed some pounds, do so sensibly. Losing weight too quickly increases the risk for uric acid kidney stones, which can cause severe pain in your back or side, blood in the urine, fever and chills, and burning during urination.

Avoid creamy sauces, rich gravies and high-fat foods.

Make healthy substitutions in your favorite sauce recipes. When possible, use low-fat broths, reduced-fat dairy products and egg whites instead of butter, cream and whole eggs. Limit foods that are high in fat, such as ice cream.

Eat purine-rich foods only in moderation.

Foods associated with an increased risk for gout include:

  • Red meat
  • Scallops, anchovies, sardines and herring
  • Organ meats like liver, kidney and sweetbreads
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Mushrooms, spinach, asparagus and cauliflower

Reduce your consumption of these foods.

See your doctor regularly.

Men between the ages of 40 and 50 are at higher risk for gout. Your physician can identify the swelling, inflammation, stiffness and pain associated with the condition. Gout diagnosis may involve blood tests, urine tests, joint fluid tests and x-rays.

March 2012


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