Salt – A Culprit for High Blood Pressure

Topics: Blood Pressure , Lifestyle & Diet Article Highlights
  • The relationship between consuming salt and your blood pressure
  • What consuming too much salt does to your body
  • How you can keep your salt intake in check
MR_Salt_and_blood_pressure

 

Eating too much salt can cause some people to experience an increase in blood pressure. For some, too much sodium in the body can cause excess fluid which can overwork the heart. Today the average American consumes more than double of the recommended sodium intake at 3,400 mg of sodium per day.[1]

Not everyone’s blood pressure is equally affected by excessive salt intake. If someone’s body is salt sensitive and there is excess sodium in the bloodstream, the kidney will not be able to regulate it and it will continue to stay in the bloodstream. This eventually causes water to be pulled into the body, increasing the amount of blood and thus increasing blood pressure.

There is more to reducing sodium intake than decreasing the use of the salt shaker. Be aware of the amount of sodium in the food you purchase by checking labels. Processed foods can contain up to 75% of the sodium consumed.1 Striking a balance between the amount of sodium and potassium is a great way for regulating your blood pressure. Studies have shown that diets low in potassium have the same effect on blood pressure as high amounts of salt. Eating a wide variety of veggies, fruits, and legumes is a great way to incorporate more potassium-rich foods in your diet.

Understanding which foods are high in salt and blood pressure consequences can help decrease the risk of high blood pressure, which can prevent any vascular damage that can happen to your body in the long run. It’s important to begin calculating how much salt is already on your food and how much you should add to keep your blood pressure at a lower rate. Even if you are young and healthy, being aware of your sodium intake and by reducing consumption of sodium will help maintain the normal blood pressure.

How are salt and blood pressure related? To put it simply, if we’re having too much salt in our food, our kidneys won’t be able to act quickly enough, causing a sodium build-up leading to high blood pressure. A main focus in keeping your blood pressure at a healthy rate is to limit the amount of salt you have per day. Too much isn’t good for you, which is why we recommend eating healthy foods rich in potassium to get you back on track.



[1] http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/About-Sodium-Salt_UCM_463416_Article.jsp 

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