Many people can lower their blood pressure by adopting a healthy eating pattern. Eating less sodium can help you if you have high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney disease or liver disease.
The body requires a small amount of sodium in the diet to control blood pressure and blood volume. However, most people consume many times the amount of sodium needed. Too much sodium can cause your body to hold onto extra water. This extra water will raise your blood pressure and can cause damage to your heart, kidneys or liver as they are forced to work harder. Even if you take medication for blood pressure or a water pill (diuretic) to remove fluid, it is still important to have less salt in your diet.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.
On average, American adults eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily, more than double the American Heart Association’s recommended limit of 1,500 milligrams.
Keep in mind that 2,300mg is equivalent to 1 teaspoon.
2,300mg = 1 tsp
3,400mg = 1.5 tsp
Because we consume so much sodium even cutting back by 1,000 milligrams a day can significantly improve blood pressure and heart health.
65 percent comes from food bought in supermarkets and convenient stores
25 percent comes from restaurants
10 percent comes from home cooking and other sources
Here are a few tips to consider.
Although sodium is important for your body to function, too much can be harmful for people with high blood pressure. Limiting salt in your diet is key. Salt is an acquired taste and taste buds can be retrained in less than two weeks if people stick with the lower-sodium diet.
Information provided by Catherine Ngono, RD.