Fried Chicken > Can fried chicken raise your blood pressure

Can Fried Chicken Raise Your Blood Pressure?

Fried foods like fried chicken are often high in sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure. Eating fried foods regularly is not recommended for people with hypertension or those at risk for developing it. However, enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, fried chicken does not have to spell disaster for your heart health.

Can Fried Chicken Raise Your Blood Pressure?

Yes, regularly eating fried chicken can contribute to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This is due to several factors:

    • Fried chicken is high in sodium. The breading, batter, and dipping sauces all contain a lot of added salt, as do the seasonings used to flavor the chicken before frying. High sodium intake is directly correlated to increased blood pressure.
    • Frying chicken adds a lot of saturated and trans fat. These unhealthy fats can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood, which can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. This causes increased blood pressure.
    • Fried chicken is high in calories but low in nutrients. The fatty, salty, and starchy breading provides calories without much nutritional benefit. Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for hypertension.
    • Eating fried foods regularly has a cumulative effect. Even just one serving of fried chicken may contain your entire daily recommended sodium intake. Doing this day after day can overload your kidneys’ ability to filter excess sodium.
    • Fried chicken from restaurants and fast food chains is especially high in sodium and fat. Homemade can be a slightly healthier option.

The occasional fried chicken meal may not directly spike your blood pressure. But regularly eating it as a part of an overall diet high in salt, fat, and refined carbs can certainly contribute to developing hypertension over time. Moderation is key.

So while the fried chicken in itself does not directly cause chronically elevated blood pressure, it is one of the unhealthiest menu options, especially for those with high BP. Limiting fried foods and focusing on nutritious whole foods is recommended for heart health.

What Makes Fried Chicken Potentially Problematic?

When chicken is breaded or battered and fried in oil, this cooking method can add a significant amount of extra calories, fat, and sodium. For example:

    • Breading and batter contain refined carbohydrates and added salt.
    • Frying adds a lot of additional fat and calories.
    • Most fried chicken is also served with high-sodium dipping sauces.
    • Restaurant fried chicken tends to be higher in sodium than homemade. Fast food menu items can pack over 1,500mg of sodium.

The more often you eat fried foods, the harder it is to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Related post: Can fried chicken mushrooms be eaten raw?

Does Fried Chicken Directly Cause High Blood Pressure?

Eating fried chicken, in and of itself, does not directly cause chronically high blood pressure. However, regularly consuming it can contribute to high sodium intake and weight gain, which are risk factors.

Genetics, age, and lifestyle habits like smoking play a larger role. But diet and exercise choices directly impact blood pressure as well. So fried chicken is not inherently “dangerous.” But it is easy to overdo it with salty, fatty foods, which isn’t healthy long-term. Moderation is key.

Healthier Ways to Enjoy Fried Chicken

If you want to enjoy fried chicken more wisely, here are some tips:

    • Eat it only occasionally as a treat, not multiple times a week.
    • Opt for grilled or baked chicken on the bone over fried.
    • Make your own at home with healthier ingredients and less oil.
    • Choose white meat chicken tenders over dark meat with skin.
    • Skip the dipping sauce or ask for it on the side.
    • Balance it out with veggies, fruits, and whole grains.

Watch your overall sodium intake for the day if enjoying restaurant fried chicken.

The Takeaway

Periodically enjoying your favorite fried chicken meal is perfectly fine, even if you have high blood pressure. Just be mindful of limiting sodium, fat, and calories from other foods during the day. Moderation and an overall healthy diet is key to managing blood pressure.

FAQs
What is the number one food that causes high blood pressure?

While no one food alone causes high blood pressure, health experts agree that a diet too high in sodium is the top dietary contributor. Processed, packaged, and restaurant foods tend to be the highest in sodium. This includes items like frozen pizza, canned soups, fast food burgers and fries, and yes, fried chicken.

Does fried chicken affect blood pressure?

Yes, regularly consuming fried chicken can negatively impact blood pressure. The combination of high sodium, saturated fat, and calories in fried chicken contributes to high blood pressure over time. The more often it is eaten, the more it can raise BP.

Why does fried food raise blood pressure?

Fried foods raise blood pressure in a few key ways. Frying adds a lot of saturated fat and trans fat, which negatively impacts cholesterol levels. The high calories can also contribute to weight gain. Additionally, fried foods like fried chicken tend to be very high in sodium from all the salt added via batter, breading, seasoning, and dipping sauces. All of these factors impact blood pressure.

Is chicken OK to eat with high blood pressure?

Yes, chicken can be part of an overall healthy diet for managing high blood pressure. The key is to avoid fried chicken and instead choose grilled, baked, roasted, or air-fried chicken. Watching portion sizes of even lean protein is also recommended. And be sure to balance chicken with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

Is fried chicken once a week OK?

Yes, enjoying your favorite fried chicken meal once a week is fine as part of a diet focused on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Just balance out the extra salt and fat from fried chicken over the course of your week.

Can you eat fried foods with high blood pressure?

It’s best to avoid frequent fried food meals if you have high blood pressure, due to the high fat, salt, and calories. But the occasional fried treat is alright – just opt for healthier cooking methods like grilling, roasting, or baking on most days. Be sure to keep up regular exercise too.

What food is good for high blood pressure?

Foods like leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, and fatty fish like salmon, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, plain yogurt, and eggs are great choices for a blood-pressure-friendly diet. Focus on getting nutrients from wholesome minimally processed foods.

 

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