You might have heard your doctor tell you to reduce the amount of salt you are eating on a daily basis. However, salt more specifically the sodium in the salt is needed by our bodies to facilitate a desirable level of functioning of muscles and the nervous system. Salt also helps the human body maintain the volume of blood and the blood pressure.
So why does the doctor tell you to reduce the salt intake if sodium is so critical for the body to function normally? Well, that’s because we happen to consume much more sodium than we need for the most part. The thing is that salt is not just what’s there in the shaker on your kitchen table and the food being cooked, but there is high sodium content in a lot of the foods we eat. In fact, 80 percent of salt intake comes not from the table salt but from all the different processed food, canned food and the food that we eat in restaurants.
Problems with Increased Salt Intake
When you are consuming too much salt, your body tends to retain more fluids than it needs to. That can increase the volume of blood flowing in your body and in turn increase your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure makes the heart work a lot harder than it has to, under optimal conditions. Hypertension can lead to many problems for the human body out of which, kidney damage, heart problems, and arteriosclerosis happen to be just three key ones.
Consuming a lot of sodium is not the only reason why people experience hypertension. There are also more natural reasons which lead to hypertension that individuals have no control over. The effect of high salt content in an individual’s blood pressure can be attributed to genetic factors, as some people are a lot more sensitive to sodium than others.
A person’s age is also a factor which comes into play as an individual grows older. The blood pressure of a human body tends to react more drastically to salt intake as one grows older. Additionally, the functioning of the kidney also decreases with age. That adds to the body’s difficulties of being able to remove excessive fluids. This also results in a higher retention of salt. Other factors, like a lack of physical exercise are also very important when it comes to hypertension in the human body.
Tips and Tricks to Reduce Salt
A majority of people who have a problem of high blood pressure should not be consuming more than a moderated 1500 mg of sodium in a single day. This doesn’t mean that the individuals who haven’t developed hypertension problems can eat as much as they want. They should also keep it below 2400 mg a day so that they remain healthy and don’t give the problem a chance to develop. Manage your nutrition levels and make a note of how much sodium you’re consuming. It’s very important to do that.
When you’re eating out at restaurants, checking the amount of salt your food has is often impossible. Instead, you can ask the server what food can be prepared for you that does not have salt, or limited salt, and opt to order that. Eat more fresh foods, reduce your use of condiments and increase potassium intake. It helps your kidneys to function more efficiently. So, find healthier alternatives to sodium to satisfy your taste buds as it can help save your life.
Check out our “High Blood Pressure Recipes” on our website that will help you to reduce the sodium content.
Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!