Who Should Follow A Low
Many people are salt-resistant, meaning the amount of sodium in their diet does little to change their blood pressure. Others, who are salt-sensitive, can see their blood pressure rise by five points or more if they go on a high-sodium diet. For these people, who usually have high blood pressure to begin with, a low-sodium diet can be important for overall health. Low-sodium diets can also help people trying to lose weight, as high sodium levels cause the body to retain water, which can contribute to weight gain.
To follow a low-sodium diet, be sure to read nutritional information labels carefully and select items that are low in salt. Put away the salt shaker and season your food with other spices. Avoid packaged or prepared foods. Dont eat out at restaurants very often, and especially avoid the AHAs Salty Six: breads, cold cuts, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches.;
How To Reduce Your Blood Pressure Without Medication
This past November, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines for when high blood pressure should be treated. For the first time in 14 years, theres no more prehypertension. If your blood pressure is running over 130/80, you officially have high blood pressure.
I never gave much thought to my blood pressure. Its always been spot on at 120/80 or a little bit lower . But like the rest of the world, Im getting a bit older, and Ive been dealing with some stressful stuff in my life recently, and apparently, its starting to affect my blood pressure. Not quite enough to require medication, but I do need to keep an eye on;it.
Needless to say, Im pretty upset, because Im one of those people who eats well, exercises most days, Im not overweight, and I do all the right things to stay healthy. Unfortunately, Im also very much of a type A personality, so I get stressed easily, and I let too many things bother me.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Damage to your blood vessels occurs every time your pressure is elevated. The new guidelines are meant to make people more aware of that earlier. ;Its their hope that more awareness earlier can help prevent the damage that would occur if you waited for a later diagnosis.
Learn the risk factors for hypertension, which include:
Lifestyle changes can reduce your blood pressure naturally
About Salt Sodium And Potassium
- Sodium is an essential nutrient necessary for maintenance of plasma volume, acid-base balance, transmission of nerve impulses and normal cell function.
- Excess sodium is linked to adverse health outcomes, including increased blood pressure.
- The primary contributors to dietary sodium consumption depend on the cultural context and dietary habits of a population.
- Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, such as milk, meat and shellfish. It is often found in high amounts in processed foods such as breads, processed meat and snack foods, as well as in condiments .
- Sodium is also contained in sodium glutamate, used as a food additive in many parts of the world.
- Potassium is an essential nutrient needed for maintenance of total body fluid volume, acid and electrolyte balance, and normal cell function.
- Potassium is commonly found in a variety of unrefined foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
- Increased potassium intake reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.
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Myth 3: Some People Naturally Crave More Salt Than Others
Good news for those who think theyre naturally a salt eater the taste for salty foods is learned, rather than built in. Its possible to retrain your taste buds to like foods with less salt in them, itll just take a little time.
Try these tips from Eat for Health for eating less salt:
- eat mostly fresh food instead of processed food which tend to be high in added salt
- go for packaged and canned foods labelled no added salt, low salt or salt reduced
- compare similar packaged foods by looking at the food labels and choosing the item with less sodium
- swap deli meats like ham for canned fish or leftover meat from your last meal
- use small amounts of sauces with a high salt content
- flavour your cooking with a variety of herbs and spices
- avoid adding salt at the table you could even leave the salt grinder in the cupboard.
Salt Plays An Important Role In The Body
Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is a compound made up of about 40% sodium and 60% chloride, two minerals that play an important role in health.
Concentrations of sodium are carefully regulated by the body and fluctuations lead to negative side effects .
Sodium is involved in muscle contractions and losses through sweat or fluid can contribute to muscle cramps in athletes (
Electrolytes are atoms found in bodily fluid that carry an electrical charge and are essential to everything from nerve impulses to fluid balance.
Low levels of chloride can lead to a condition called respiratory acidosis in which carbon dioxide builds up in the blood, causing the blood to become more acidic .
Although both of these minerals are important, research shows that individuals may respond differently to sodium.
While some people may not be affected by a high-salt diet, others may experience high blood pressure or bloating with increased sodium intake .
Those who experience these effects are considered salt-sensitive and may need to monitor their sodium intake more carefully than others.
Summary: Salt contains sodium and chloride, which regulate muscle contractions, nerve function, blood pressure and fluid balance. Some people may be more sensitive to the effects of a high-salt diet than others.
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Myth 5: You Should Eat Or Drink More Salt After Working Out
Salt comes out of your body in two ways through urine and through perspiration but that doesnt mean you need to add extra salt to your diet every time you break a sweat.
Some products, like sports drinks, are advertised as a good way to replace lost salts after working out. Under usual circumstances, sports drinks that contain electrolytes are not necessary for rehydration ;;the process of replacing lost fluids and salts. Tap water and consuming a healthy diet will help replace any nutrients lost during any activity. You can read more about good hydration and how to avoid dehydration here.
Sports drinks can be used to rehydrate if you have exercised continuously for 90 minutes or more. If youre thinking about starting a new and more strenuous exercise regime and wondering about how to rehydrate properly, its a good idea to talk to your doctor about how this might affect your health and your dietary needs.
Myth: People With High Blood Pressure Have Nervousness Sweating Difficulty Sleeping And Their Face Becomes Flushed I Dont Have Those Symptoms So Im Good
Many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Its often called the silent killer because it usually has no symptoms. You may not be aware that its damaging your arteries, heart and other organs. Know your numbers;and dont make the mistake of assuming any specific symptoms will let you know theres a problem.
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Sea Salt: Uses Benefits And Downsides
Sea salt is made by evaporating salt water. People around the world have used it since prehistoric times, and its commonly found in many kitchens today.
Aside from its culinary uses, sea salt is often added to body scrubs, baths, beverages, and countless other products.
Some people believe its healthier than other types of salt and provides several benefits, but there is little research to back these claims.
This article provides an overview of the common uses of sea salt, as well as its potential benefits and downsides.
There Arent Many People Are Consuming Levels As Low As 3g The Level At Which Some Of This Research Calls Dangerously Low
Sara Stanner, science director at the charity the British Nutrition Foundation, agrees that the evidence that reducing salt intake in those with hypertension lowers blood pressure and risk of heart disease is strong. And there arent many people are consuming levels as low as 3g, the level at which some of this research calls dangerously low.
This would be difficult to achieve, Stanner says, due to the levels of salt in foods we buy.
A single 100g slice of frozen pepperoni pizza can have 1.9g of salt
So much of the salt we consume is in everyday foods, she says. This is why reformulation across the foods supply is the most successful approach to cut down on national salt levels, as has been the case in the UK.
Experts also have conflicting views on whether high salt intake can be offset by an otherwise healthy diet and exercise. Some, including Stanner, say that a diet rich in potassium, found in fruit, vegetables, nuts and dairy, can help to offset salts adverse effects on blood pressure.
Ceu Mateus, senior lecturer in Health Economics at Lancaster University, advises that we should prioritise being aware of hidden salt in our diets rather than trying to avoid it altogether.
The problems we have with too much salt could be similar to those linked with too little, but we still need to do more research to understand what goes on here. In the meantime, a healthy person is going to be able to regulate small amounts, Mateus says.
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What Causes High Blood Pressure
Two different types of hypertension or high blood pressure exist primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. In most adults with hypertension, there’s no exact etiology or well-defined cause. These adults have primary hypertension that develops during the course of a lifetime.
Nevertheless, factors like salt in taking in salt-sensitive people, obesity, aging, stress, and insulin resistance can increase blood pressure in people with essential hypertension.
Secondary hypertension, however, can be traced back to a cause. A minority of people have secondary hypertension. The onset of secondary hypertension is quick. Secondary hypertension can be attributed to the following factors:
- Drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine
- Alcohol misuse or dependence
Muscle Cramps Need Water Not Salt
Some people believe that salt needs be replaced during hot weather or strenuous exercise to avoid muscle cramps. This is not correct. What you need to replace is water.;The human body can happily survive on just one gram of salt a day, as hormones keep a check on sodium levels and make adjustments for hot weather. A genuine sodium shortage brought on by hot weather or exercise is extremely rare, even among hard-working athletes.The muscle cramps that sometimes follow a bout of sweating are due to dehydration, not lack of salt. To prevent cramps,;drink plenty of water on hot days and before, during and after exercise. This will also help to even out the watersodium ratio in the body.
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What Causes Low Blood Pressure
Many factors can lead to low blood pressure such as a nutrient-deficient diet, dehydration, heart problems, adrenal insufficiencies or neurological disorders. We always look at any preexisting health conditions or try to identify a possible cause to then treat that problem, says Dr. Patel.
For the most part, though, if your hypotension is asymptomatic and you are otherwise healthy, it is usually not recommended to treat it with medication, he adds.
Salts Role In Hypertension
Sodium chloride, aka table salt, can be a roadblock to lowering your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is 130/80 or higher, shaking the salt habit may make a real difference. Too much salt in your diet causes you to retain fluid, making it harder for your heart to pump blood through your body, leading to high blood pressure. Reducing your intake of sodium chloride to 1,500 milligrams a day may help bring down your blood pressure.
GIving up salt, or even cutting back, isnt easy. Fortunately there are salt substitutes that can help.
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The Health Benefits Of Salt
Sodium is an electrolyte, which is a mineral that can carry an electric charge when its dissolved in a liquid like blood. As such, it serves an important role in the cardiovascular system and the bodys metabolism. Sodium helps the body maintain normal fluid levels and plays a key role in nerve and muscle function. People used to believe that consuming more salt would make you thirstier, but a 2017 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that eating more salt actually led to increased body water conservation, making people less thirty. Many doctors take this to mean that, given enough salt and water, the body is capable of choosing its preferred level of sodium.;;;
According to the AHA, our bodies can operate just fine on less than 500 mg of sodium per day. Thats less than one quarter of a teaspoon of salt. But that doesnt necessarily mean that a low-salt diet is better for you than a regular diet. Studies have shown that diets that are in the middle ranges salt-wisethose considered low usual, usual, and high usual sodium intakesdont show a significant difference in overall health outcomes for most people. Diets considered low sodium intake, on the other hand, can be nearly as unhealthy as those that are high in sodium.
Sodium Doesn’t Affect Everyone Equally But There’s Good Reason To Stick To Moderate Amounts In Your Diet
On average, Americans eat too much salt more than a teaspoon and a half a day. Most often it doesn’t come out of a shaker, but is hidden in the foods you eat. But is it really bad for your heart to eat too much, or is that just a concern for people with certain risk factors? There’s been some debate on this topic, even among members of the scientific community. We asked Nancy Cook, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, for her thoughts on salt or more precisely, sodium, a mineral that makes up 40% of salt and how it affects your health and your heart.
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High Sodium Intake And Blood Pressure
The relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure is well established. Populations with a high average salt intake have higher average and higher levels of hypertension . Australians consume nearly double the amount of sodium that is recommended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.Reducing the amount of salt you have will lower high blood pressure the extent depends on your age, current blood pressure and other factors such as the amount of exercise you do, body weight, stress and alcohol intake.;
People with high blood pressure, diabetes;or chronic kidney disease;and those who are older or overweight are particularly susceptible to the effect of too much sodium on blood pressure.There is strong evidence that sodium reduction lowers blood pressure in people with normal blood pressure and good evidence that consuming a diet low in sodium reduces blood pressure in children.
High Sodium Intake And Other Health Conditions
Excessive sodium intake has also been linked to other conditions, such as:
- Heart failure
A high level of salt intake increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine, which may also contribute to osteoporosis and increased risk of fracture.The balance of sodium and water in the body can also be disrupted if there is not enough water. This may be caused by a damaged thirst mechanism or by limited access to water. Hypernatremia is a very serious condition that occurs when your sodium levels rise above 145 milliequivalents per litre . It can lead to death. A major symptom is thirst and treatment usually involve controlled water replacement.
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From Where To Get Potassium
Well, you need a lot of potassium and that can come from large amounts of salads. You need to consume around 7 to 10 cups of salad or vegetables every single day to balance your potassium with sodium. An average person consumes about 3400 mg of sodium and only a 1000 mg of potassium which is totally opposite ratio and hence a person faces fluid retention in his body after some period of time due to this imbalance between sodium and potassium. Hence you should not worry about lowering your sodium but instead, you should increase your potassium. Also avoid all kinds of hidden salts like monosodium glutamate from the junk foods, fast food restaurants, etc. You should avoid eating sugar because sugar depletes potassium and retains sodium.
Comparison Of Sodium In Foods
Meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh meat, 3 oz. cooked: Less than 90 mg
Shellfish, 3 oz: 100 to 325 mg
Tuna, canned, 3 oz: 300 mg
Lean ham, 3 oz.: 1,025 mg
*Whole milk, 1 cup: 120 mg
Skim or 1% milk, 1 cup: 125 mg
*Buttermilk , 1 cup: 260 mg
*Swiss cheese, 1 oz: 75 mg
*Cheddar cheese, 1 oz : 175 mg
Low-fat cheese, 1 oz.: 150 mg
*Cottage cheese , 1/2 cup: 455 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh or frozen vegetables, and no-salt-added canned , 1/2 cup: Less than 70 mg
Vegetables canned or frozen , 1/2 cup: 55-470 mg
Tomato juice, canned, 3/4 cup: 660 mg
Breads, cereals, rice and pasta
Food: Milligrams sodium
Bread, 1 slice: 110-175 mg
English muffin : 130 mg
Ready-to-eat, shredded wheat, 3/4 cup: Less than 5 mg
Cooked cereal , 1/2 cup: Less than 5 mg
Instant cooked cereal, 1 packet: 180 mg
Canned soups, 1 cup: 600-1,300 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Canned and frozen main dishes, 8 oz: 500-1,570 mg
*These can also be high in saturated fat, unless low-fat or reduced fat options are purchased.
*High in saturated fat.
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