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Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries (blood vessels) which carry the blood throughout the body. Foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated or trans fats can increase blood pressure and damage your heart health. By avoiding these foods, you can keep your blood pressure in check. Dr Ross Perry GP & Medical Director of Cosmedics UK spoke exclusively with to discuss the surprising foods increasing your blood pressure.

Certain foods and drinks can affect your blood pressure. Foods full of salt, sugar and saturated fats are some of the worst culprits, said Dr Perry.

He added: “Ready meals quite often contain high amounts of salt and sugar so are best avoided or eat occasionally.

“Frozen pizza is a terrible choice for those with high blood pressure because they contain high levels of sugar, salt and saturated fats.

“Preserved pickles and vegetables are also full of salt which stops them decaying.”

He continued: “Tinned soup is another bad culprit, known for its high levels of sodium. Full fat drinks which are laden with sugar are also really bad when it comes to blood pressure as is fried food, whole dairy, fatty meat, crisps and snacks laden with salt and full fat salad dressings which are full of sugar and salt.

“When too much salt is consumed, your body then holds on to water which can attribute to making your blood pressure rise and can put pressure on the heart.

“Drinking alcohol frequently can also make blood pressure rise due to the fact it’s full of sugar and calories which can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

“Swap coffee and caffeine laden drinks for herbal teas and water. drinking more than four cups of coffee a day can lead to high blood pressure.

“It’s best to stick to a whole food diet full of fresh fruit, leafy greens, lean meats, wholegrains and plenty of water.”

Foods high in salt include:

Frozen and boxed mixes for potatoes, rice, and pasta
Smoked, cured, salted or canned meat, fish or poultry including bacon, cold cuts, ham, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar and anchovies
Frozen breaded meats and dinners, such as burritos and pizza
Canned entrees, such as ravioli, spam and chili
Salted nuts
Snack foods
Beans canned with salt added

Foods high in sugar include:

Low fat yogurt

Barbecue (BBQ) sauce


Fruit juice

Spaghetti sauce

Sports drinks

Chocolate milk



Foods high in saturated fats include:

  • Butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Cured meats like salami, chorizo and pancetta
  • Cheese

  • Foods high in trans fat include:
  • Baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Frozen pizza
  • Refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls
  • Fried foods, including French fries, doughnuts and fried chicken
  • Non-dairy coffee creamer
  • Stick margarine

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