An increase in salt levels in the body causes high blood pressure. Therefore it simply means that if you lower salt intake, you will reduce your blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, you can lower it by eating less salt. If you have normal blood pressure, you can reduce risks of developing high blood pressure by eating less salt. More salt in the body makes the body retain additional water, which increases blood pressure. The majority of us eat hidden salt in processed foods, such as breakfast cereals, biscuits, snacks, bread and fast foods.
Tips to lower salt intake and reduce your blood pressure
Stop the habit of adding salt while eating
If possible, you should put your salt shaker very far from your dining table. Table salt is approximately 40% sodium. Adding this salt in your already cooked food means increasing sodium levels in the body, which automatically raises your blood pressure. Therefore breaking this habit will help reduce your blood pressure
Reduce intake of packed and processed foods
These foods contain very high salt levels. In fact, many people consume their largest percentage of salt from packed and processed foods. Remember that you do not have control over the amount of salt added to these foods during preparation so you eat what is there. You can substitute these foods by preparing your own meals at home. This way, you will regulate the amount of salt you add to the foods you eat.
Read food labels when you go shopping
Many foods have labels but most of us never take the time to read these labels. The labels usually indicate the amount of salt or sodium contained in the foods. So if you want to lower salt intake and reduce your blood pressure, start reading these labels. This is especially when you go shopping for foods with sodium. Choose low-sodium canned veggies, pasta sauces, crackers, etc. You should also do the same when you go to eat in restaurants. Ask if it is possible to prepare your meals with less salt. Another option is to choose low-salt recipes both at the restaurant and home.
Another way to lower salt intake and reduce blood pressure is to stop adding salt to food so as to get the flavor, instead use spices and herbs, and seasonings such as ginger, chili, lime juice or lemon to get that flavor.