High Blood Pressure and Salt

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Blood Pressure
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

You can lower high blood pressure is by limiting how much salt you eat—specifically the "hidden" salt in prepared and packaged foods

 

 

Transcript

The intake of salt is really controversial when it comes to high blood pressure, but everybody's in agreement about processed salts.

Now, what are processed salts? Well, processed salts are items we get [through] the diet, and when we take in too much processed salt, the blood pressure soars. Now, where do you get it? Well, actually, they're in canned goods, canned soups, powdered soups, dill pickles, sauerkraut, broiled chickens at fast food restaurants. You know, you can go to a fast food restaurant, get a broiled chicken and a dill pickle, and you're up to 2,500 milligrams of processed salt. That's enough to give you high blood pressure. You know, the average American takes in about four grams a day. However, if you're salt-sensitive and you're eating a lot of processed hidden salts in spaghetti sauces, soups, crackers, it's everywhere, your blood pressure is going to go up, so you must be mindful about processed salt intake.

But what do you do? Well, when you go to a grocery store, shop along the lines that have fresh fruits and vegetables. Get away from the canned goods, if you can. And remember, there's processed salt in everything, so you must, you must read labels, as I mentioned before, and think about the good healthy salts. Potassium is a good salt, magnesium is a good salt. Magnesium and potassium will help lower blood pressure. So, if you want to go to a Himalayan sea salt or a natural sea salt, do it. It's much healthier than a processed salt that you get in all these canned goods. And remember, use the salt shaker sparingly.

So, my advice to you is that if you have high blood pressure, watch processed hidden salt in the diet, educate yourself, be mindful; do not eat a lot of processed salt and, if you do, your pressure will come down.

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