Dining out can be convenient, festive or just a chance to eat something a little different. But patronizing restaurants too often can also be bad for the heart. Research suggets that theres a strong association between high blood pressure and frequent restaurant visits.The connection is sodium, says dietitian Kate Patton, RD, LD, with Cleveland Clinics Preventive Cardiology Nutrition Team. Restaurant meals, especially from fast-food and chain restaurants, tend to be higher in sodium. Plus, they often serve large portions, so youre consuming more sodium and calories.