Basics

Salt Restrictions For BP Patients


Salt has often been linked with the problem of high blood pressure. Excessive consumption of salt is believed to be one of the primary causes for hypertension. If you too are dealing with the problem, then it is important that you keep your salt intake in control. Here are some salt restrictions that hypertension patients must keep in mind to keep their blood pressure levels in control.

Why cut down on salt?
Salt contains sodium which is known to be harmful for high blood pressure patients. Sodium has been closely linked to the problem of heart failure.

How much do you need to cut down?
Even if you have normal blood pressure levels, you should not consume more than 2,500 milligrams (about a teaspoon) of salt each day. The amount of salt intake for blood pressure patients should be even lesser than this. However, the amount of permissible sodium intake varies from one individual to another.

Though anyone suffering from hypertension needs to reduce the level of salt intake, there are some groups that need to make larger deductions. Here are some of them.

* People who are sensitive to salt. 50 % of hypertension patients experience significant changes in blood pressure on consuming large quantities of salt. The risk of salt sensitivity is higher in hypertension patients of African-American origin. Consuming a diet that is rich in salt can lead to several problems in individuals with salt sensitivity. These include damage to heart, kidneys and the brain.
* People who are overweight. If you are suffering from high blood pressure and overweight too, then you need to scale down your salt intake significantly. The reason for the same being that overweight people tend to absorb more sodium in their bodies than the usual.
* People on anti hypertensive drugs. Reducing the consumption of salt can enhance the effectiveness of many anti hypertensive drugs. Cutting down on salt intake reduces the loss of potassium, which helps the medication work better. This in turn prevents any kind of damage to the kidneys.

Reducing salt consumption
Reducing the amount of salt in your cooking is the most obvious thing to do. Slowly but gradually, cut down on the amount of salt you use for cooking by a small quantity such as one tenth each day.

When it is about cutting down on salt intake, most people tend to focus only on cooking salt. However, there are other things that you need to do as well. For instance, you need to reduce your consumption of processed and fast foods as they contain high amount of salt.

You could also consider using salt substitutes such as Cardia. This one is a mixture of potassium, sodium and magnesium.