April 8, 2018

salt-and-hypertension photoBlood pressure is simply the pressure exerted by blood on blood vessel. So when your blood increases the pressure also increases. One of the most common causes of high blood pressure is increase of water content in blood. Sodium has a tendency to retain water. So if you like to consume excess salt which is actually the compound called sodium chloride, it’s more likely that you will develop hypertension.

Our kidneys do the delicate work of removing excess fluids including water and other toxic materials from our blood stream. Sodium plays a key role here. Unusual concentration of sodium and potassium in blood stream affects the osmosis process by which kidneys (which are actually filters) removes excess water and that may lead to excess water in blood stream.

So the point is you can’t consume excess salt. But how to do that and how much can you consume?

How much salt can be consumed?

Well there is debate among experts but it’s never more than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams) per day. It’s about a teaspoon every day. Remember it’s not extra salt. It includes total daily consumption including cooked food and canned food.

Its bit difficult for those who like salty food items. There are salt substitutes like potassium chloride but it may not be suitable for everyone. There are some medical conditions where potassium chloride is dangerous. So before trying salt substitutes you should consult medical professionals.

Safe salt substitutes

You can use safe alternatives like chili powder, nutmeg, basil, ginger, and cinnamon. Of course you can try other spices also.

Tips to avoid salt

  • Usually processed foods have high salt content. Try to avoid canned food and you can also go for salt free or low salt canned food.
  • Fresh vegetables are the safest option.
  • You can rinse canned food like tuna with ample water that will remove salt significantly.
  • Read food labels carefully and select low sodium items.
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