Salt and blood pressure have been a warning for thousands of years. Almost everyone knows they should avoid eating too much salt.
Yes, it’s great for enhancing flavor. But, it can also cause hypertension if you overdo it.
In this article, you’ll learn how they relate to each other. I’ll also share a few tips to help you tone down the salt.
How do salt and blood pressure interact?
Salt absorbs water. When you eat it, it makes your body hold onto it. The result is more water in your blood. It translates into more pressure on the blood vessel walls.
Likewise, salt can change how medicines work. Hypertension medication might underperform with too much salt.
Your kidneys and blood pressure regulation
Your kidneys are also vital to maintain your blood pressure. They remove excess fluid and waste from the body. So, blood can flow more freely.
Too much sodium in your blood throws off the sodium-water balance. It results in a higher strain on your kidneys. If prolonged, it can cause kidney disease.
Salt and blood pressure medication
Diuretics are a common treatment for blood pressure. They help you remove waste products from your body. They act as help for your kidney’s tasks.
Just like with kidneys, sodium can hinder diuretics. It counteracts their effects. Thus, eating less salt also helps your medications work better.
What’s the blood pressure cycle?
Excessive salt and blood pressure narrow your blood vessels. Then, your organs receive less oxygen. Your heart has to pump harder, which worsens hypertension.
With time, your heart muscle gets weaker. Your artery walls can also become damaged. In this case, fat may start to accumulate. Thus, stroke and heart attack risks increase.
Controlling salt and blood pressure
Luckily, you’re not entirely out of luck. Controlling your salt intake could have immediate effects on your health. As mentioned, it helps medication work better.
So, cutting salt can be a crucial strategy for fighting blood pressure. Below, you’ll find a few tips.
How much salt should people eat?
The recommended salt volume per day differs with age:
- Babies should barely eat salt. Their kidneys aren’t developed.
- Between 1 and 3, they should eat under 0.8g of sodium.
- Between 4 and 5, they should eat under 1.2g of sodium
- Between 7 and 10, they should eat under 2g of sodium
- From 11 to adulthood, 2.4g of sodium is enough.
What should and shouldn’t you eat to lower salt and blood pressure issues?
Firstly, you should eat unprocessed food—preferably prepared by yourself. Likewise, stick to low-fat and low-salt ingredients.
On the other hand, you should cut down on oil, butter, and margarine. Salad dressings also tend to have lots of salt. Salty snacks and processed food are usually high in sodium.
Find alternatives to salt
Finally, you can find countless alternatives to salt. For flavor, you can start using herbs, spices, lemon, and more.
Heart.org has a huge list with guidelines on when to use certain spices.
The holistic takeaway
Salt and blood pressure share an unfortunate relationship. It might seem hard to shed salt. After all, we like tasty food.
Luckily, you don’t have to forget about flavors.
You can always use spices and herbs. If anything, creativity is a key advantage when lowering your salt intake. Moreover, you don’t have to give up salt entirely. Just track how much you’re using.
You can also try other treatments, like The Blood Pressure Program. It focuses on breathing and stress release. So, it’s a natural way to lower your blood pressure daily.
It doesn’t even target your diet!
If you want to learn more, make sure you check out my review!