Importance of a low sodium diet in hypertension

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Salty foods we should avoid in high blood pressure diet

There is a range of food that should be reduced or eliminated to prevent hypertension:

  • Foods high in sodium: Excessive consumption of salt is an enemy that cal produce hypertension. Salt helps the body retain more fluids which produces a pressure on the arteries and causes a blood pressure increase. Reducing consumption of salt is a good way to avoid the appearance of hypertension.

Salt can be ingested directly, salting food, or through the foods that contain it. However most of the ingested salt comes from processed products containing this mineral.

Tips to avoid to much salt intake

To avoid excessive intake of salt the following recommendations should be taken into account. These are especially recommended in the diet of hypertensive subjects but they also should be considered as a way to prevent hypertension in all individuals:

*Always avoid seasoning food with salt. In its place we can flavor meals using herbs or spices. The leaves of rosemary, sage, bay leaf, basil, etc, are great resources that will provide more flavor to food without increasing the consumption of sodium. Sprinkle the food with powdered garlic or grated onion can also be very interesting.

* Avoid the use of smoked or cured meats that are very rich in salt. Among these food we will mention bacon, salted ham, sausages canned fish (sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, etc)

* Choose preferably fresh or frozen food instead, avoiding those that contain lots of salt preservatives. When this is not possible, remove the salt with water.

*Control the intake of cheese selecting those types of cheese which contain little or no salt and low fat.

* Avoid those sauces containing salt. Substitute them with other varieties low in salt.

* Avoid the use of salted vegetables (pickles, olives,…)

* Avoid salty nuts, salty cereals, salty fruits, or salted tubers (almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, popcorn, salted sunflower seeds, salted crisps, etc.) Use unsalted food instead.

* Avoid the temptation of using salt. Place it away from the table.

* When buying food, monitor the presence of salt on labels, rejecting that food for which data is not expressed or can not be read clearly. There are lots of food that are sold as ” healthy” that contain excessive amounts of salt. Among these some that could be included are many breakfast cereals, bread, light cheese, etc..

A glance at the table below shows the salty content of some food.

Other food to avoid in hypertension

  • Foods rich in saturated fat: Foods high in saturated fat increases the cholesterol level in blood, can produce thrombi in the arteries and impede blood circulation and therefore they are not recommended for hypertensive patients.) Furthermore, the excessive consumption of fats is also responsible for obesity one of the factors that predispose to the onset of hypertension.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption: According to some specialists moderate alcohol consumption may even lower the hypertension by achieving a better circulation. However, we must be very careful with the use of alcoholic beverages. Many studies have shown that the reduction of obesity and alcohol intake have produced a significant reduction in the number of people with hypertension.
  • Foods high in sugar or carbohydrate: pasta, sweets, desserts, sweets in general contain much sugar which predisposes to the onset of diabetes and kidney problems that can be responsible for hypertension. Furthermore, these foods are high in calories which helps obesity.. The replacement of these foods by fresh fruit or fruit juice is one way to avoid the uncontrollable desire for sweet food and a good way to avoid health problems.

Related information: Dash diet hypertension

punto rojo More information about high blood pressure.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

8 April, 2020

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