Hypertension (HT) is the chronic increase in blood pressure with values equal to or greater than 140 mm Hg (mercury) of systolic pressure and 90 mm of Hg of diastolic pressure. HT is a cardiovascular risk factor. Blood pressure can rise without a known prior cause, by some diseases (endocrine, kidney …) and by the consumption of some drugs. Other causes are tobacco abuse, alcohol abuse, stress, being overweight, lack of exercise … and following a diet with excess salt.
Numerous studies show that reducing the amount of sodium in your diet lowers blood pressure. Salt is necessary for the body in small doses, but fluid retention and increased blood pressure can occur if the adequate amount is exceeded. We need 1.25 g of salt per day, and we have to try to keep their intake below 6 g per day (1 teaspoon): 6 g of salt = 2.5 g of sodium = 2,500 mg of sodium.
Salt in food
Not applying it to your food is the best way to minimize salt in your diet. Fresh foods tend to have a much lower salt concentration than pre-prepared or pre-cooked foods.
From highest to lowest content, the foods richest in salt are bouillon cubes, commercial soups, salted cod, pork bacon, caviar, pizzas, bacon, pre-cooked (croquettes, dumplings …), blue cheese, ketchup, ham Serrano, olives, cooked ham, Manchego cheese, commercial french fries, nuts, sausages …
Importance of labeling
To compare them with one another and select those with low salt content, it is very important to read the labeling of the products well. Note that the ingredients are listed in descending order of quantity. That is, the earlier the word salt appears in the list of ingredients, the higher the proportion it contains. For this reason, it is advisable, towards the end of the list, to select the items in which the salt is stored.
Another important tip is to always choose foods containing less than 0.5g or 500mg of sodium per 100g of product. If we want to calculate how much salt a product has, we must multiply the amount of sodium by 2.5 since one gram of sodium equals 2.5 grams of salt.
Drugs with sodium
People who are restricted in sodium intake should also know that some drugs are high in this element, especially those with an effervescent presentation.
To make dishes tastier, use spices and herbs as substitutes for salt. For example, when preparing meat, you can use bay leaf, nutmeg, pepper, sage, thyme, garlic, onion, oregano, or rosemary. In the case of fish, curry powder, dill, mustard, lemon juice, or pepper are usually better. And for vegetables, the most appropriate is rosemary, sage, dill, cinnamon, tarragon, basil, or parsley.
Low salt diet
Along with reducing salt intake, HT’s dietary treatment consists of a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish, olive oil, and foods that contain little fat. Alcohol and exciting substances like caffeine causes an increase in blood pressure. It is therefore advisable that its intake be limited.
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