High blood pressure or Hypertension: Is Salt the enemy?


Firstly, all those who are unaware blood pressure is basically how much blood is being pumped by our heart through our artery walls. High blood pressure tends to arise when the force of blood is higher than our artery walls which eventually causes the pressure of blood to increase in our bodies. Furthermore, the narrower our arteries, higher is the blood pressure. This is one of the major causes of strokes and heart diseases in a large number of people worldwide.

Causes of Hypertension or high blood pressure:

A large number of individuals strongly believe that high blood pressure tends to run in families therefore that are why they have it too. Sorry to break it you but latest studies have proved that better lifestyle choices can actually help you to combat from hypertension altogether.

There are innumerable reasons which may cause high blood pressure in people. It’s been stated that half of the US population suffers from hypertension and what is even more dangerous is the fact that most of the reasons of blood pressure are never understood or found. But there are a few factors that are described to be the root cause of hypertension amongst a large number of people, these include:

Age: As our age increases, there is a higher risk that we will suffer from blood pressure. High blood pressure tends to much more common in men.

Obesity: overweight, the root cause for a lot of diseases. Being obese increases the risk of developing high blood pressure. This is because as your weight increases, more blood is required to give oxygen to your body which then increases pressure on the arteries causing the blood pressure to rise.

Smoking: Nasty habit! The chemicals found in cigarettes tend to shrink or narrow down our arteries making it difficult for the blood to flow and this causes heart problems.

One of the key reasons for having hypertension is due to high salt (sodium chloride) consumption. However, people don’t realize that most of the salt they consume comes from the junk and restaurant food they eat. It has been stated that about 75% of the salt that Americans consume does not come from salt shakers resting peacefully at their homes at all.

While it is recommended that the salt intake should be limited to about and less than 2,300 milligrams which is basically a teaspoon of salt every single day. People in the US tend to consume more than 3,400 milligrams of salt every day through various means which ultimately leads to high blood pressures in most adults in the US.

Do healthier lifestyle choices help?

Various health departments have stated that adding more veggies and fruits in our diet has proved to lower blood pressure. However, it does not mean that you can also consume salt side by side. One of the myths that were believed by a lot of people was that consuming healthy options such as vegetables and fruits and not controlling salt intake can minimize or counterbalance the negative effects of salt. However, latest studies have shown otherwise.

One of the studies conducted by Dr. Stampler who studied 4,680 men as well as women aged between the mid-40s analyzed their diet patterns. He tested their urine samples for sodium which is found in salt and potassium which we usually get from consuming fruit and vegetables. He tested them for 4 days asking his sample each day what they have consumed over the period of 24 hours. They were then tested and their blood pressure was measured twice in one day for as long as they were studied. A startling discovery was made.

It was revealed that despite having a healthy diet and consuming lots of vegetables and fruits, it did not help to reduce sodium levels in the body. Therefore, this meant that not only people need to adopt healthy lifestyles; they need to cut down their salt intake because there is no way to reduce the negative impact caused by consuming too much salt. All those victims of hypertension, there are no cheats to this!

Tips to fight hypertension:

Adding lots of colors to your diet, this will help you reduce your blood pressure levels considerably. And by colors, I mean eating lots of leafy green vegetables and fruits. Also, devise a healthy eating plan.

Reduce your intake of junk food considerably; artificial and refined food is a big no as well as carbohydrates. This will enable you to reduce weight which will reduce the pressure on blood as well.

One of the key ways to help yourself from the effects of hypertension is to control your salt intake because there is just no way out. Reduce your salt levels to a minimum. This will allow you to reduce your blood pressure levels and live much healthier.


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