8 Surprising Foods and Supplements That Can Raise Your Blood Pressure

For better BP, eat your fruits and veggies — and watch out for these culprits
sugar Photo: qoppi/Shutterstock
burger and fries
red wine
sugar
coffee
bologna sandwich
frozen pizza
black licorice
tree trunk
soy products
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Added sugar

Added sugars (not the sugar that naturally occurs in your food) are a growing concern for people watching their blood pressure. “As your weight goes up, your blood pressure goes up, too. So if your diet is high in added sugars, that’s likely to have an impact,” says registered dietitian Salge Blake. And research suggests sugar may directly affect blood pressure whether or not you gain weight.

Sugary beverages are the number one source of added sugars in Americans’ diets, according to Salge Blake. In fact, people who drink more than one sugary drink a day — not just sodas, but also fruit juices — are more likely to have high blood pressure according to a study published in the journal Hypertension.

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests women should limit themselves to about 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and most men should stick to no more than about 9 teaspoons per day.