The Generalization between High Blood Pressure and Salt

@KrauseHome (36750)
United States
March 2, 2007 12:38am CST
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!
2 people like this
5 responses
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
2 Mar 07
In regards to consuming salt the majority of the world take far too much salt, there are a lot of products that already have salt in them so why add more to it and it will affect your blood pressure if you are intaking too much salt, I only use a small amount of cooking salt when I cook and as far as table salt I always use iodised table salt. But you are right what you are discussing in regards to salt everyone must be very careful of the amount of their salt intake.
• Malaysia
2 Mar 07
Reference to salt intake ...for some people consume salt is habit...without salt no taste.I DON'T like salt because it spoil my taste . Keep away from salt and will you stay healthy.thanks
@ossie16d (11826)
• Australia
6 Mar 07
One thing that many people do not realise is that salt comes naturally in so many of our foods, yet they continue to add even more, either in the cooking process or when they sit down to eat the food. I am not a salt person at all, and in fact have never added it to cooking, except for when I am making sauces or relishes that is. Then it is necessary to add some salt or the product will soon go off. The interesting thing is that I am careful what I eat, never add salt to anything (other than above), yet I do have high blood pressure. At the same time my husband adds salt to almost everything he eats and has perfect blood pressure. In fact the Doctor says that for his age his blood pressure is excellent. So, there is obviously an element of genetics at work with those who do get high blood pressure. Instead of using salt, in many instances I prefer to use herbs and spices for flavouring. Not all, but the greatest majority of these herbs are what I have grown and dried myself, so they are plain and natural as they can be. If there is any hidden salt in them, they it is what is naturally produced. :) One thing a lot of people do not do is drink sufficient water, which I do, and so there is a built up of naturally occuring salt in their system. It can lead to all sorts of health problems, which only come to light when the person actually has a serious medical problem. Thank you for bringing this one to the attention of everyone KrauseHome, because salt is one of those things that people do not realise what damage too much can do.
• United States
2 Mar 07
I actually prefer to use herbs and spices to flavor in place of salt. Even pepper can make a huge change in flavor, although salt does have it's place! LOL
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Balance is indeed in order. Many of our foods need no salt. Something like Mrs. Dash for flavor will suffice quite nicely. Many people do not drink enough water and so function basically dehydrated. That would drive up salt levels. Our way we eat also can lend itself to our body misfunctioning. So this is in fact only one aspect of treating ourselves through methods of eating. The closer to the garden the better we will feel.
@edigital (2710)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Iodized salf is an essential food for health and to avoid goiter disease, but I cannot take raw salt as my physician advices me not to take raw salt. So I take iodized salt with cooked food and some time with saline where salt is presence to keep my health in good condition.