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The Connection Between High Blood Pressure And Salt

Aug 17, 2007
We are a society of Salt Addicts. It cannot be denied. When you look at the things we do and the places we hang out then the occurrence of Salt is almost the constant factor.

How many times have you said to your friends and work colleagues that such and such a place is great to hang out in after to work, to relax etc?

They serve great cocktails and canapes, nibbles call them whatever. Yes they are great, and funnily enough the consumption of these just makes you want to consume more and drink even more (alcohol, soft drinks whatever) and do you know why?

Yes, you have got it, it is because they are virtually made out of salt. OK, slight exaggeration here for effect, but a major ingredient that makes these snacks so delicious certainly is the salt.

The recommended total daily intake of salt for adults is 5 grams or less. This best viewed as a slightly heaped teaspoonful. The other factor to beware of in all of this is to take into consideration the hidden salt that lies within the rest of the food that we eat in processed or packaged foods. These hidden amounts alone leave very little room for the addition of salt at our table or within the processes of cooking. If we are not very careful we could find ourselves consuming between 200 and 400 percent more salt as we need without trying.

The addition of salt to our food at the table is in a great many cases almost an involuntary habit and cutting this out is not easy to start but once the process of elimination is embarked upon most people find it hard to believe how salty the food that we consume actually is.

Leave salt off the table as a condiment and cut down by 50 percent the amount used in cooking as a start and take it from there. The most obvious offenders in the salt intake sakes are Fast Foods such as Hamburgers, cooked meats; savoury snacks etc but Bread, tinned soups, micro waved foods contain more salt than you think.

The one positive side effect of all of this is the fact that more and more people are starting to become more aware of the amount of Sodium found in foods and are now starting to consume more and more lower Sodium alternatives. These foods are beginning to make more of an appearance on Supermarket shelves in greater numbers than ever before and slowly the message is getting through

However, and this is a BIG however, be careful of the excess use of salt substitutes as these contain potassium chloride (conventional table salt is Sodium Chloride). Potassium supplements are not suitable for people with impaired Kidney function, or people receiving ACE inhibitor drugs or certain types of diuretics (water pills).

There can be no doubt that the reduction of Salt has a beneficial effect on the blood pressure of people with Hypertension and the impact is greater in Adults over the age of 45 and in people of African and Caribbean origin, who in general are more salt sensitive.

Yes Salt is tasty, yes it can make some of our foods extremely tasty and delicious but yes, Salt can also be deadly.

Treat it and use it with care!
About the Author
Stephen Morgan is Principle Editor at

and also an advisor at
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