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High Blood Pressure - Understanding The Salt Restriction It Requires!

Reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Noida  •  47 years experience
High Blood Pressure - Understanding The Salt Restriction It Requires!

Salt or more specifically Sodium plays a crucial role in BP management. Too high salt/Sodium ingestion can cause high BP while too low salt/sodium levels can cause low BP. So it is important to maintain an optimum salt intake. Studies have shown that a reduction in the amount of sodium consumed through the diet leads to a noticeable decrease of blood pressure and therefore, it is important to keep salt intake as low as possible. Salt intake is not same as Sodium intake. Salt is Sodium Chloride and is just one of the forms in which human beings consume Sodium. Here are some tips--

  1. Recommended Salt/ Sodium intake - Adults should consume <5gms of salt in a day (appx 1 teaspoon salt)/ Or <2.3 gms of sodium daily. Ideal Sodium intake should be <1.5 gms daily. 
  2. To decrease salt/sodium, AVOID processed foods like Chips, nachos, popcorns, namkeens like bhujiya, salted peanuts etc, pickles, papads, chutneys, sauces like tomato and soya sauce, ready-to-eat meals, junk and fried food like burgers, french fries, cured hams or bacon or salami, packed salty drinks like juices or buttermilk, hot chocolate etc. 
  3. Avoid adding salt from over the top in your salads, soups, curds and vegetables. 
  4. DO NOT Absolutely remove salt from your diet. Hence, Salt used while cooking the food at home is fine, but once the food is cooked do not add extra salt/chaat masala in the cooked food. 
  5. Teach healthy eating habits to your children by encouraging them to eat fruits, vegetables, drinking fresh food and home cooked meals rather than junk food. 
  6. If you are heart failure patient or kidney disease patient discuss with your Cardiologist or Nephrologist about the optimum recommended salt intake specified for you. 
  7. It is difficult to get used to low salt in terms of taste when you are used to salty taste, but it is possible. But the health benefits of controlling salt in diet can play a major role in BP reduction thus preventing the need for medicines, hence it can be worthwhile to get used to low salt taste.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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