Blood pressure after eating varies based on a couple of factors that we are going to look at. Blood pressure is defined as the force of the blood as it flows through the blood vessels. There are various factors that cause the pressure of the blood to either rise or fall. The normal blood pressure readings are considered to be at 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure is considered to be healthy if it remains within this range.
Ordinarily, your blood pressure is supposed to drop slightly after having your meal. However, there are particular foods that cause a rise in your blood pressure, at times to levels that are way above the recommended limit. Elevated blood pressure after eating is not healthy. As a matter of fact, it is a cause of concern that should be addressed by your medical practitioner.
So how exactly does eating affect your blood pressure?
Once you eat, your body tends to redirect most of your blood to the digestive tract in order to help with the digestion of the food. This, therefore, results in a slight and temporary decrease in your blood pressure in the other parts of your body. In order to compensate for this shift, the blood vessels in the other regions of the body then constrict, making the heart beat faster and with more force. That way, there is an even distribution of blood throughout your body which then helps you to maintain your blood pressure after eating, at healthy levels.
Low blood pressure after eating
There are, however, cases of people who experience a persistent dip in their blood pressure after eating. This occurs as a result of the failure of the blood vessels in the regions that are away from the digestive tract to constrict. This condition is known as postprandial hypotension or what is commonly referred to as low blood pressure after eating. This condition mainly occurs in those living with high blood pressure.
Change in blood pressure after eating can further cause complications such as light-headedness, falling, and fainting, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, chest pains among others. Apart from high blood pressure, postprandial hypotension can also be caused by long duration of fasting. Doctors advice against over-exerting your body by fasting for too long as it exposes you to the risk of suffering from nutrient deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances.
If you are living with hypertension, you are advised against eating foods that have the potential to increase your blood pressure. Top of this list is those containing high amounts of salt. This is because they cause a sudden but temporary spike in your blood pressure. The sodium that is present in these foods causes excessive fluid retention by the body, resulting in an increase in your blood pressure levels. Examples of such foods include canned foods, ready-to-eat meals, chips, sauces, and marinades. Avoid them for the sake of healthy blood pressure and the cardiovascular system as a whole.
You also ought to avoid foods containing saturated fats. Saturated fats are known to increase the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) levels in your blood. LDL is often referred to as the bad cholesterol in the blood. Plaque formation in the blood vessels occurs as a result of fatty deposits build which occur when there are high LDL levels in the blood.
The plaques that form in the blood vessels cause a narrowing of the spaces that blood flows through in the blood vessels. Less space means that the heart has to use more force in order to pump the blood throughout the body. The increased force is what causes increased blood pressure. Foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats include fried foods, cheese, butter, most dairy products, lard, and tropical oils such as palm and coconut oils among others.