How to reduce sodium intake and reduce your blood pressure

 

Reducing your sodium intake is one of the natural ways to reduce your blood pressure if your are hypertensive. Yet, when most people that are hypertensive think of reducing sodium, the end up doing only one thing, they stop adding salt to the food they cook or eat.  Surprise! Surprise! This isn’t enough.  

Most people stop adding salt to their food  then complain that though they have stopped adding salt to the food they eat, their blood pressure has remained high. This is usually disappointing because the food has become less tasteful, yet the desired effect of a reduced blood pressure has not been achieved.

 Why is this happening? Here are a few reasons I want to share with you in this training from the Dala Compass Academy Wellness Challenge.  

This usually happens because other sources of sodium have not been accounted for. If you are over 47 and you want to cut down on sodium so that you can reduce your blood pressure then you have to learn to do more than not simply adding salt to what you cook or what you eat.

You should read your nutrition facts.  The nutrition facts are labels on foods that explain the nutrients or ingredients they contain.

Here is what I do when I read the nutrition facts. Generally, when I look at my nutrition facts, I also look at my sodium, fiber, and fat content. I know people sometimes ignore their sodium content, thinking it does not really matter. Well, it does. This is particularly important when you are trying to reduce sodium intake and reduce your  blood pressure.

Here is an example. When comparing a loaf of bread with a can of soda, you will find that a single serving of bread contained 150 milligrams of sodium, while the can of soda contained 65 milligrams of sodium per serving size. Can you believe it? One serving size of bread containing more sodium than a serving size of soda. Wow!

Did you know that the American Dietary guidelines recommends that we do not take more than  2300 milligrams of salt every day?  This is equivalent to one flat teaspoon of salt. This can be quite challenging. You have to make it  a habit  to read the nutritional facts on your food label  so that you will learn more about the ingredients  in your food and  how to limit your sodium intake to about 2300mg or less a day. If you are a known hypertensive or have additional risk factors then aim for 1500 mg per day. This means that if you are over 47 and a hypertensive, your goal should be 1500mg of sodium per day.

The good thing to remember is that reducing sodium intake can lower your blood pressure by about 5mmHg. Now if you intend to eat about 1500 milligrams of sodium per day, and  you start your day with ten slices of bread, you have just eaten 1500 milligrams of sodium to start your day. Then any other sodium you eat for the rest of day will be in excess of your target. This is one of the reasons why you may reduce the salt you add to your food, but  still end up eating more salt through other food items or food that you eat the rest of the day!

 Lesson: You have watch out for other ways you eat sodium even after you stopped adding salt to your food.

 

You can also get more details by reading my book on 15 simple natural ways to reduce your blood pressure .

Hope this helps.  In the next training I will go over how to read your nutrition facts and make it a positive tool that would help you reduce  your sodium intake! You can learn more signing up for the Compass wellness challenge.

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