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High blood pressure: Avoid this popular frozen meal if you want to lower your reading

High blood pressure is where the pressure inside the arteries is higher than it should be, but a problem for many people when it comes to recognising whether they have the condition is it rarely shows noticeable symptoms. The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your reading regularly checked, either by your GP or local pharmacist or using a blood pressure monitor at home. High blood pressure can be prevented or reduced by a number of lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet. Experts recommend cutting down on the amount of salt in food, and one food that tends to be high in salt and should be avoided is frozen pizza.

Frozen pizza can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure because the combination of cheese, cured meats and tomato sauce adds up to a lot of salt

Frozen pizza can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure because the combination of cheese, cured meats and tomato sauce adds up to a lot of salt.

Particularly in the case of frozen pizzas, many manufacturers add a lot of salt to pizzas once they’ve been cooked to maintain their flavour.

One serving of a frozen cheese or meat and cheese pizza can contain more than 700mg of salt.

The more toppings you have on your frozen pizza, the likelihood of their being higher salt content.

Salt works on the kidneys to make the body hold on to more water, and the extra water stored raises blood pressure and puts strain on the arteries, as well as the kidneys, heart and brain.

Blood Pressure UK explains: “To cope with the extra blood strain, the tiny muscles in the artery walls become stronger and thicker. Yet this only makes the space inside the arteries smaller and raises your blood pressure even higher.

“This cycle of increasing blood pressure (which occurs slowly over a number of years) can ultimately lead to the arteries bursting or becoming so narrow that they then clog up entirely.

“When this happens, the organs of the body that were receiving the blood pressure the arteries become starved of the oxygen and nutrients they need.

“This can result in the orgs being damaged and can be fatal.”

An adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day, and to counteract the negative impact of salt, experts recommend eating plenty of fruit and vegetables because of their high potassium content.

The blood pressure explains: “Potassium is a key mineral that the body relies on heavily to function properly. It helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt.

“Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure.

“Your kidneys do this by filtering your blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which it then stores in your bladder as urine. This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.

“Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water. By eating more fruit and vegetables, you will increase your potassium levels and help to restore the delicate balance. This will help your kidneys to work more efficiently – and help to lower your blood pressure to a healthy level.”

But it’s also important not to overdose on potassium, so avoid taking potassium supplements.

A recent study found eating four helpings of a certain food a day may protect blood vessels. 

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