NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here's an alarming statistic: One out of every three, or 77.9 million, adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, according to a report by the American Heart Association -- and, it's only getting worse.
By 2030, it's projected that 41.4% of U.S. adults will have high blood pressure.
Why is this so serious?
Nearly 28% of Americans don't even know they have the disease. It's called the "silent killer" because high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a cardiovascular disease that is very difficult to detect. The symptoms and signs are subtle.
As a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, hypertension is the primary cause of death in Americans. It is one of the most preventable conditions -- but if left uncontrolled it can increase your risk of life-threatening health problems like a heart attack or a stroke.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure measures the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your blood pressure rises with each heartbeat and falls when your heart relaxes between beats.
While the number can fluctuate from minute to minute with changes in posture, exercise, stress or food, it should normally be less than 120/80 mmHg. Any higher, and you could be diagnosed with high blood pressure by your doctor. (Hg is the pressure that one millimeter (mm) of mercury (Hg) exerts.)
The good news: Most people can bring down their blood pressure naturally by adjusting their diet. Food matters.
We've compiled a list of 15 foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure or just want to minimize your chances of getting high blood pressure, using data compiled from WedMD, Healthline.com and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read on to keep your heart health and happy.
(Warning: This list may include foods you love to eat)
15. Deli Meat
Processed deli and lunch meats you buy to make sandwiches can quickly become a sodium trap.
Deli meats are often cured, seasoned, and preserved with salt to last longer. A two-ounce serving of some lunch meats could contain about 600 milligrams of sodium or more.
When you add the two slices of bread, cheese, some condiments, and pickles, a simple sandwich is no longer so innocent.