High blood pressure WARNING: Pickles could increase risk of hypertension and heart attacks

Eating pickles could be raising your risk of high blood pressure, according to medical website LiveStrong.

The average, medium-sized, pickle can contain as much as 800mg of sodium.

Adding extra sodium to your diet puts greater pressure on blood vessels, as more fluid enters them to dilute it.

Adults should not be eating more than 2.4g of sodium daily, according to the NHS - so just three pickles a day could be increasing your risk of high blood pressure.

“Dill pickles - and other salty foods - cause your blood pressure to increase through the natural action of sodium on the body,” said LiveStrong.

“Eating one pickle won’t kill you. Combined with the rest of the foods in your diet that contain added sodium chloride, however, a steady habit of pickle consumption can lead to high blood pressure and other serious chronic diseases.”

The longer vegetables sit in canning and preserving liquids, the more sodium they pick up, said medical website Healthline.

Reduced sodium pickles are available, containing abut 100mg of sodium each, it added.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

If blood pressure is too high, it puts added strain on the blood vessels, and subsequently the heart and other organs.

Heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease and vascular dementia could all be caused by high blood pressure, according to the NHS.

Only a blood pressure test will reveal whether you have high blood pressure.

Symptoms of hypertension are rarely noticeable, but they can include severe headaches, chest pain and difficulty breathing.

Finding blood in your urine, having an irregular heartbeat, or persistent fatigue could also be signs of high blood pressure.

Those most at risk of the condition include the over-65s and the obese.

Losing weight, cutting back on salt and caffeine, and exercising regularly could lower your risk of developing the condition.

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