Hold the Salt and Lower the Blood Pressure

(AOLHealth.com) — High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the leading cause of stroke as well as a risk factor for coronary heart disease and kidney disease. The American Heart Association recommends blood pressure levels of less than 120/80. Lifestyle factors such as physical activity, maintaining a good body weight and eating a heart-healthy diet can help keep blood pressure at goal. One specific dietary factor is salt intake.

Salt, or the chemical name “sodium chloride,” is often added with the salt shaker — but most is already in the foods we eat; both in packaged and processed foods, as well as in foods that are eaten in restaurants and “take-out.” For most people, salt consumption should be no more than 2,300 grams a day (about one teaspoon). For those with high blood pressure, that number is even lower at 1,500 grams. On the bright side, many people find that their “taste buds” change after reducing their salt intake and they need less salt on or in their foods.


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