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Sodium Intake and Blood Pressure

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you may need to consider cutting back on salt intake. High blood pressure is also called hypertension. Eating less sodium (salt) may help to lower blood pressure.

Who is at risk for high blood pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. You are at higher risk if you are:

I.     Male
II.    Female past menopause
III.   African American
IV.   45 years of age or older
V.    Eat a high sodium diet
VI.   Not physically active on a regular basis
VII.  Drink large amounts of alcohol
VIII. Had a parent or grandparent with hypertension (family history)
IX.   Overweight

How does high blood pressure affect your body?

Often there are no symptoms of high blood pressure. Hypertension is often referred to as the silent killer and must be taken seriously. High blood pressure increases your health risks. It a good idea to check your blood pressure at home and share your numbers with your health care provider during visits. High blood pressure can increase your risk for stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and kidney failure.

Keeping blood pressure under control, can help prevent a heart attack and stroke.

Tips to lower salt intake

A. Use less salt at the table or remove the saltshaker from the table.
B. Use less salt when you cook.
C. Use other herbs and spices, that do not contain salt, to season foods.
D. Eat more fresh vegetables.
E. Eat more fresh fruits.
F. Don’t eat foods that contain a lot of salt.

What are some high sodium foods?

Chips, pickles, convenience foods, hot dogs, ham, bacon, corned beef, canned soups, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cheese, salted popcorn, nuts and crackers are a few. Low sodium varieties are available for many of these products.

Recommendations

1. Check your blood pressure and know your numbers.
2. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
3. Control your sodium intake.
4. Consider following the DASH diet. Research shows that the DASH diet can help prevent or lower blood pressure. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
5. Get plenty of regular exercise. Exercise can help to reduce your blood pressure and control your weight. Exercise also helps reduce stress and anxiety.
6. Maintain a healthy weight.
7. Stop smoking.
8. Learn about your medications and take them as prescribed. A pillbox may help you remember to take your medicine, if you tend to forget.
9. Stay positive and focused on improving your health. You can do it!

References

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One Comment on “Sodium Intake and Blood Pressure

  1. Great post!
    High blood pressure is a silent killer indeed. I appreciate the references as I want to expand on this.

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