The Impact of Diet on High Blood Pressure

Last reviewed:
13 May 2024,

Medically reviewed by:

Understanding How Your Diet Impacts High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a prevalent health condition that affects millions of people in the UK. While factors such as genetics and age can contribute to hypertension, one of the most significant influences is diet.

Neglecting dietary considerations can exacerbate high blood pressure and increase the risk of severe health complications. In this article, we’ll explore the impact of diet on hypertension and how monitoring with Aktiia’s innovative blood pressure device can help individuals take control of their health.

Understanding the impact of diet on high blood pressure

You might not think about how snack foods and frozen foods – the very same items that are common in our fridges and pantries – are impacting your heart health. In reality, diet plays a crucial role in managing blood pressure levels. Consuming foods high in sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol can lead to elevated blood pressure over time. These dietary choices contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, narrowing blood vessels and making it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively.

Your diet can affect your heart in more ways than one. Living with excess weight or obesity can increase your risk of high blood pressure; in fact, more than one in four persons in England suffer from high blood pressure due to the high rate of obese and overweight people in the UK.

Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced world, ultra-processed foods have become a staple in many diets. These foods, while convenient, are often laden with excessive sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats, contributing significantly to hypertension. Studies have shown that a diet high in ultra-processed foods is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and other metabolic disorders. The high sodium content, in particular, is a key culprit in raising blood pressure levels, making it imperative to reconsider our reliance on these foods.

Risks of untreated hypertension

Untreated high blood pressure poses significant risks to overall health. It increases the strain on the heart and blood vessels, raising the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. Additionally, hypertension can damage the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis and potentially life-threatening complications such as heart attacks and aneurysms.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being overweight are considered risk factors for conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, which means that making changes to lower your blood pressure – such as losing weight if necessary, getting active, and eating a nutrient-dense diet – can help keep your heart and body healthy.

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What can I do to lower my blood pressure immediately?

If you want to start lowering your blood pressure sooner rather than later, incorporate some lifestyle changes:

  • Drink more water: Drinking plenty of water can help to flush out excess salt and water in your internal system, keep your body hydrated and lower your blood pressure. When your body is dehydrated, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body, which increases blood pressure.
  • Stress less: One of the ways that reducing stress can lower blood pressure is by decreasing the levels of stress hormones in the body. These hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, can constrict blood vessels and increase heart rate.
  • Cut back on sodium: The body needs a certain amount of salt to function, but consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. When salt intake is reduced, blood pressure is lowered.
  • Quit smoking: Nicotine causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. When you quit smoking, your blood pressure returns to normal.
  • Eat a low-sodium, high-potassium diet: A healthy diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium can lower blood pressure by helping to reduce the amount of fluid in the body and by helping the blood vessels relax. This may look like eating more vegetables with every meal and removing ultra-processed snack foods and convenience items from your diet.
  • Exercise regularly: When you exercise, your heart muscle becomes stronger. This allows the heart to pump more blood with less effort. Exercising also helps to reduce the stiffness of your arteries. When your arteries are stiff, it is more difficult for your heart to pump blood through them. Finally, exercise can help you to lose weight. Being overweight can increase your blood pressure.
  • Limit alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Having more than three drinks in one sitting temporarily increases blood pressure, but chronic heavy drinking can lead to long-term increases. Cutting back on alcohol consumption will help reduce blood pressure. The NHS recommends that men and women should have no more than 14 units of alcohol over a week on a regular basis.

Why it’s important to monitor blood pressure

Thanks to Aktiia’s innovative blood pressure monitoring device, individuals can track the impact of their diet on their blood pressure levels with ease. Aktiia’s lightweight, waterproof design makes it suitable for people over 65, providing continuous monitoring for those up to 85 years old. By wearing Aktiia throughout the day, users can gain valuable insights into how their dietary choices affect their blood pressure, empowering them to make informed decisions about their health.

Take control of your health

It’s essential to remember that high blood pressure is a serious health condition that requires medical attention. While monitoring with Aktiia can provide valuable insights, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or treatment plan. With Aktiia’s support and guidance from medical professionals, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or treatment plan.


Health matters: combating high blood pressure, 24 Jan 2017 –

Diet and heart disease risk, 12 Jun 2023 –

Correlative study on body mass index and blood pressure in the united kingdom: a systematic review of current evidence, 13 Oct 2023 –

Consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with obesity, diabetes and hypertension in Canadian adults, Jun 2021 –

Does Drinking Water Lower Blood Pressure?, 13 Jan 2022 –

NHS, Alcohol units, 15 Oct 2021 –

Medically Reviewed

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Renowned cardiologist, physician leader, and angel investor.

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About the Author

Assad Khan is a dynamic marketing professional specialising in Digital Growth Marketing Strategy He has played a significant role in Aktiia’s success by launching and expanding its market presence and increasing user adoption. His experience provides a strong foundation for his understanding of business dynamics, consumer behaviour, and market trends.

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