Eating Out Can Cause High Blood Pressure

   |  Updated: April 13, 2015 13:47 IST

Eating Out Can Cause High Blood Pressure

Most of us will side by the phrase that we live to eat. We love going out, trying new restaurants and learning about new cuisines and dishes. But as exciting and fun as eating out may seem, it does come with a price - our body is the one that takes a toll.

Like all natural systems, our body too follows a cycle where eating home-made meals at regular intervals and following a schedule leads to the proper functioning of the body. Of course, occasional binging is alright to break the monotony. But more and more meals that we eat away from home, it disrupts the normal process and leads to higher calorie, saturated fats and salt intakes, which ultimately causes harm to our health such as the risk of high blood pressure. Globally, high blood pressure or hypertension is the leading risk factor for death associated with cardiovascular disease.

According to a new study, eating one extra meal out raises the odds of pre-hypertension by six per cent. This could be because while eating out, we tend to turn a blind eye to what we are eating. Most often we don’t cross-check the contents of the dish and how it is prepared. As a result, we consume fatty foods with high calorie intake.

According to a study conducted by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore that was published online in the American Journal of Hypertension, the team surveyed 501 university-going young adults aged 18 to 40 years in Singapore where data on blood pressure, body mass index and lifestyle, including meals eaten away from home and physical activity levels were collected. The facts gathered were then associated with hypertension.


Professor Tazeen Jafar, the lead researcher in the study said, "Our research highlights lifestyle factors associated with pre-hypertension and hypertension that are potentially modifiable, and would be applicable to young adults globally, especially those of Asian descent.”

Using statistical analysis, the team found that pre-hypertension was found in 27.4 per cent of the total population, and 38 per cent ate more than 12 meals away from home per week. Those who had pre-hypertension or hypertension were mostly eating meals away from home per week. They had a higher mean body mass index, lower mean physical activity levels and were smokers. The gender breakdown showed that pre-hypertension was more prevalent in men (49 per cent) than in women (9 per cent).

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It all comes down to our habits in the end. The kind of lifestyle choices that we make determines the well-being of our body. An excess of binging will have multiple adverse effects on our body and high blood pressure tops the list. For those who travel on work and find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet, the trick is to start questioning what you are eating. Be careful when you place your orders. Select foods prepared with healthier cooking techniques such as steaming, grilling, broiling, baking, roasting, poaching or stir-frying. Choose appetisers that feature seasonal vegetables, fruits or fish. Ask that your food be prepared with less salt, no MSG or added salt-containing ingredients. Limit condiments that are high in salt, such as mustard, ketchup, pickles and sauces. While ordering salads, request for oil and vinegar rather than salad dressing, or take a little salad dressing on the side.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure.


Inputs from IANS

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