Beware the high blood pressure foods

The travails of high blood pressure afflict almost 80 million Americans and can destroy your kidneys and heart. But researchers in Austria have found that leaving certain foods out of your meals may provide an easy way to rescue your blood pressure.

The study demonstrates that foods rich in phosphates, like colas, processed cheese, Parmesan cheese and most processed foods can drive up your blood pressure.

According to this research, the phosphates stimulate release of a pressure-raising hormone designated as FGF23.

The scientists found that FGF23 produces what is called a sodium-conserving effect: It controls the reabsorption of filtered sodium by the kidneys. Without FGF23, you excrete higher amounts of sodium in your urine, a process that lowers blood pressure. Large amounts of FGF23 levels result in higher levels of sodium in the blood. That increases blood pressure.

A higher amount of FGF23 also exerts extra strain on the heart. Researcher Reinhold Erben explains, “In patients with chronic renal disease, both the phosphate levels and the levels of FGF23 are chronically high. This often leads to cardiovascular disease.”

So skip the soft drink and crackers when you watch TV tonight. Pick up some fruit and drink some water instead. You’ll make your heart happier.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.