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Salt and Blood Pressure

High blood pressure increases a person’s risk for a heart attack or a stroke. One of the recommendations to decrease blood pressure is to eat less salt or sodium.

77% of the sodium we consume comes from processed and restaurant foods. Processed foods might include frozen & canned foods, foods in jars and in some breads and cereals. 12% of the sodium consumed is naturally occurring, 6% is added while we eat and only 5% of sodium is found in home cooked meals.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines were recently updated. The sodium amount recommended in the Dietary Guidelines is 1500mg for everyone each day. That is only 2/3 teaspoon salt!

How do you lower your sodium intake? here are a few tips:

  • Follow the DASH diet
  • Read food label-information per serving of that product
  • Eat out less-if eating out, look up nutrition information on the restaurant’s website
  • Gradually lower sodium intake
  • Use spices to season food
  • Use fresh foods instead of canned
  • If use canned foods, rinse them before using them
  • Drink water instead of soda
  • Cook with little or no salt

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