Ways to Reduce Salt Intake to Lower Your Blood Pressure
Salt, commonly referred to as sodium of food labels, has been linked to high blood pressure (HBP). If you have HBP and want to lower it naturally, there are a number of effective ways to lower it without medications which have a risk of harmful side effects.
Too much salt can cause your body to retain water, leading to HBP and weight gain. In case you are thinking that you never touch the salt shaker, the truth is that it is all around us in the foods we eat. This is because it is not only a flavor-enhancer but also a cheap and effective food preservative. So what can you do to lower your salt intake?
Steer clear of convenience foods
Anything in a can or box in the supermarket will contain some form of preservatives.
Watch out for cheese and cold cuts
These are loaded with salt and in the case of cold cuts, many other harmful chemicals as well.
Steer clear of smoked items
Smoked items like meat, fish and cheese will all be heavily salted as part of the smoking process. So if you love salmon, for example, eat it fresh.
Watch your bread and cereal
Read the labels on these items in your house. You will probably be shocked at how much sodium they contain, even in the sweeter varieties of cereal. Avoid instant oatmeal for the same reason.
Avoid soup, broth and stock
Canned or instant soups are full of salt. Check the labels and note the number of servings, then multiply to get the total sodium in the can. Chances are you’ve been eating the whole can and going way above your daily allowance.
Look for low sodium canned alternatives
For canned items you really can’t live without, such a tuna or beans like kidney beans, choose low sodium. In the case of the beans, rinse them well before using.
Cook and eat fresh food
When cooking, stick as closely as possible to fresh foods.
Try the DASH diet
The DASH diet, Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension (the clinical word for HBP) was developed by government researchers to help people lower their blood pressure through diet along, not medicine. The success has been huge. The DASH diet is free online and also helps people lose weight as well.
Now that you now about many of the hidden sources of salt in your diet, steer clear and see what a difference it can make to your health.