If you take medication for high cholesterol or high blood pressure, some healthy foods may not be good for you.
Dr. Jill Waggoner from Methodist Charlton Medical Center said 80 percent of her patient population is on some type of medication. Many don’t know how the food they choose to eat can affect their medication.
5 Common Food-Drug Interactions:
1. Grapefruit: This is a big NO if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. (Other citrus is okay!)
“You don't want to do grapefruit juice with your blood pressure medicines or particularly your cholesterol medicines because it will affect how those medications work,” said Dr. Waggoner.
2. Leafy Greens: Consistency is key!
“For people who take Coumadin (warfarin)-- blood thinners -- we've told them to be careful with dark leafy greens. It’s not that you want to take those out of your diet, but you want to eat them consistently,” said Dr. Waggoner.
3. Salt Substitutes: Sounds like a good thing, but not always!
“In those, they substitute sodium for potassium and so you have to really be careful with those if you're on a high blood pressure medication because that can affect the way it acts in your body,” said Dr. Waggoner.
4. Natural Black Licorice: One of its ingredients (Glycyrrhiza) breaks down the drug, leading to a higher chance of clotting. (*Note: artificially-flavored black licorice is okay to eat because it doesn’t contain glycyrrhiza.)
5. Foods rich in an amino acid called Tyramine (chocolate, draft beer) can increase your blood pressure!
“Also aged cheese, processed meats… those can affect your medications as well,” said Dr. Waggoner.
If you’re taking a new medication, be sure to read the warning label. If you have specific questions, ask your pharmacist. They understand how drugs interact with foods.
If you take multiple medications and are having negative reactions – like feeling drowsy or experiencing upset stomach -- take all of your medications to your doctor and ask for guidance.