Reduce Salt Consumption To Control Hypertension
Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition that affects a large number of the global population. Excessive intake of salt, which is a necessary nutrient for human health, is one of its primary causes. This is because salt causes the body to retain fluid, which raises blood volume and increases pressure on the artery walls. This pressure has the potential to harm the cardiovascular system over time and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The first step to managing hypertension and beginning a better diet is lowering our salt intake. Here are some useful suggestions to reduce salt intake:
- Read food labels: It's important to read product labels and keep an eye on the sodium level of the items we plan to purchase when we go shopping. Select less-salted items; stay away from processed and prepared foods; and avoid salty snacks and sausages.
- Cooking at home: We have more control over the ingredients we use when we prepare our cuisine. Use spices, fragrant herbs, lemon, or other natural seasonings to enhance flavour instead of salt. You can savour mouth-watering flavours in this way without consuming more salt.
- Remove the salt shaker off the table: Stopping having the salt shaker on hand while we eat may seem like a simple habit, but it is effective since we avoid the temptation of adding additional salt to the food. Furthermore, taste buds will eventually become accustomed to less salted flavours and pick up new flavours and scents from food.
- Select natural, fresh foods: Prioritise the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. These foods are low in sodium and high in nutrients. In addition, potassium, a mineral that lowers blood pressure, is present in fruits and vegetables.
- Limit the amount of foods which are high in sodium that you eat: Some foods, such as bread, cheeses, bouillon cubes, and sauces such as soy sauce or fish sauce, may have a high salt content, even if it may not seem like it. It's crucial to choose low-salt versions of these items and consume them in moderation.
- Increase caution in dining out: It's best to read the menu and choose items with minimal salt content. Some restaurant menus even allow you to customise the cooking of foods to suit your preferences, or even provide healthier options.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Living a healthy lifestyle is just as important for controlling hypertension as reducing salt. Keys to managing hypertension include exercising, eating a balanced diet, cutting back on alcohol and fizzy beverages, quitting smoking, and keeping a healthy weight.
Keep in mind that every little adjustment matters, and starting to adopt these tips in our daily lives to reduce salt consumption can make a big difference in your long-term health.