About having a low-salt diet to lower blood pressure
People with high blood pressure are often advised to cut back on their daily consumption of salt. According to one study printed in the New England Journal of Medicine, reducing salt intake can lower a person’s blood pressure quite a bit more than previously thought. The study found that, in many cases, individuals with high blood pressure were able to lower their blood pressure through a low-salt diet alone, and were able to avoid taking medications as a result.
It is commonly recommended that a person should consume no more than 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day. Unfortunately, many people consume far more than the recommended amount leading to a host of health problems in addition to high blood pressure. Kidney disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke are just a few health problems that can arise from excessive salt consumption.
Tips for reducing your daily salt intake include:
- Buy fresh fruit and vegetables
- If purchasing canned fruit or vegetables, purchase products that do not include added salt
- Use spices, salt-free seasoning blends, and herbs when cooking and for seasoning at the table
- Purchase fresh fish, poultry, and lean meat, instead of processed products
- If purchasing canned products, such as tuna, rinse the contents if possible in order to remove as much added salt as possible
- Reduce consumption of pre-made foods that are high in sodium, including frozen pizza, frozen dinners, canned soups, packaged mixes, and similar items
- Cook meals at home more often so that you have complete control over how much sodium is added to your meals
- Avoid fast food restaurants that inevitably load menu items with excessive amounts of salt
- Read labels when grocery shopping to ensure that you won’t go over the recommended daily amount of salt intake. The “percent daily value” of sodium will give you a guideline for what products to purchase and which ones to avoid.
If you have questions about lowering blood pressure with a low-salt diet contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.