How Much Salt Can People with High Blood Pressure Eat Per Day?
Salt, or sodium, is a nutrient that our bodies need to keep the right amount of water and blood pressure. But if we eat too much salt, it can make our blood pressure too high. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to heart problems, strokes, kidney problems and other diseases.
If you have high blood pressure, you should eat less salt. The American Heart Association says you should eat no more than one teaspoon of salt a day, or 2,300 mg of sodium. If you can, you should eat even less than that: no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. This is much lower than what most Indians eat: more than 3,400 mg of sodium a day.
Eating less salt can help you lower your blood pressure and avoid or use less medicine. But some people are more affected by salt than others. For some people, eating too much salt makes their blood pressure go up a lot. For others, it does not change much.
How to Eat Less Salt
Most of the salt we eat comes from foods that are made by other people, not from the salt we add ourselves. So you need to read the labels and pick foods that have less sodium. Here are some tips to eat less salt:
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, which have very little sodium
Pick meats, poultry and fish that are not processed or cured
Make your own food more often and use herbs, spices, vinegar, lemon juice or other things that have no salt to make it taste good
Stay away from or eat less foods that have a lot of sodium, like canned soups, sauces, condiments, pickles, cheese, cold cuts, bacon, ham, olives and snacks
Pick brands and products that have less sodium per serving
Ask for less or no salt when you eat out or order food
Drink a lot of water to help get rid of extra sodium
Why Eating Less Salt Is Good for You
Eating less salt can make you healthier in many ways. Some of the benefits are:
Lower blood pressure and lower chance of heart problems
Less work for your kidneys and better kidney function
Less water and swelling in your legs and feet
Less chance of weak bones and broken bones
Less chance of stomach cancer and ulcers
Salt is a nutrient that our bodies need to keep the right amount of water and blood pressure. But if we eat too much salt, it can make our blood pressure too high and cause health problems. If you have high blood pressure, you should eat less salt: no more than one teaspoon a day or 2,300 mg of sodium. If you can, you should eat even less than that: no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Eating less salt can help you lower your blood pressure and avoid or use less medicine. It can also make you healthier in other ways.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456