If your aging relative struggles with high blood pressure, it’s important to know what kinds of things can cause blood pressure to rise. While you may be aware of certain things that can increase blood pressure, like eating too much salt, you might be surprised at some of these things that your older family member should also be avoiding.
According to WebMD, added sugar could be even more problematic than salt when it comes to blood pressure. People who consume added sugar in their diet, especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, tend to have higher blood pressure. In fact, drinking a 24-ounce soft drink can cause the top number to rise by 15 points and the bottom number to rise by 9.
Processed foods, like frozen meals, should definitely be avoided by seniors with high blood pressure. While we often think that removing the salt shaker from the table will reduce salt intake enough, the truth is that most of the salt people eat come from other sources. Processed foods tend to contain a great deal of sodium. Preparing foods from scratch allows for the control of the amount of sodium in a meal.
That morning cup of coffee or caffeinated tea may help your older family to wake up, but it might also be causing a rise in their blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic says that just 200 to 300 mg of caffeine can cause a rise in blood pressure. Caffeine interferes with a hormone that helps to keep blood vessels dilated, which allows blood to flow more smoothly through them. In addition, caffeine can spur the production of adrenaline, which makes blood flow faster.
Research indicates that drinking too much alcohol can also have an adverse effect on blood pressure. To prevent a rise in blood pressure caused by alcohol consumption, it’s best for older men to drink no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women to stick to just one.
Sandwiches are an easy lunch to serve older adults and are easy for them to eat. Unfortunately, depending on what is on the sandwich, it may cause their blood pressure to go up. In fact, the bread itself can be high in sodium. Lunchmeats are considered a particularly high source of sodium because of the way they are processed and preserved.
Elderly care can help older adults with high blood pressure to better manage the condition. Elderly care providers can prepare meals and snacks that are low in salt and do not contain plenty of processed foods. Elderly care providers can also remind the older adult not to drink too much caffeine or alcohol, providing them other kinds of beverages instead.