Salt high blood pressure research shows we may have been overly anxious about sodium.
This page was updated on 13th March, 2020.
Sodium chloride intake it would seem has been a thorn in our flesh for far too long. It is true that most of us should add rather less to our food; research shows that it would have a moderately beneficial effect on any person suffering from high blood pressure.
But new research from the institute of medicine claims that it is totally unscientific to insist we lower our intake below the recommended 2,3g of sodium per day; that is about one teaspoon of salt, or 5 grams. In fact, it will be harmful.
But the average American, and South African, still consumes nearly double the recommended 2300mg of sodium per day. So avoiding the really high-salt foods like packet soups, canned chicken noodle and spaghetti sauces is still on the cards.
Other common culprits are pizzas, breakfast cereals and supermarket bread; and cold meat cuts, crisps and salty snacks too.
We should cut back or avoid most of these anyway, for other reasons. Packet soups are full of chemicals, and breakfast cereals are made with refined carbohydrate and sugar.
Think rather of making your own homemade, delicious and easy soup recipes. Honestly, those spaghetti sauces are nothing more than an onion, a tomato and a few herbs and spices; and a massive amount of salt. Seventy-five percent of the high sodium the average person ingests is already in the foods they purchase at the supermarket; add more and you are seriously in trouble.
Far better, rustle up our simple, quick relish at fresh tomato recipes.
Apparently two-thirds of folk add salt to their food even before tasting it; that obviously is sheer silliness and I am going to test myself as well.
Bread too contains a lot of extra salt, and sugar too, not to mention the refined flour. Even so-called whole wheat may have had up to 40 percent of the goodies removed, mostly the germ and bran obviously.
Baking your own loaf using a machine is one of the simpler ways of reducing the unwanted content, and increasing the goodies; it takes only five minutes to prepare the dough. The extra choline alone makes it worthwhile.
This salt calculator will give you a rough idea of how much salt you consume, and whether you are within the guidelines.
"One in five South African children already has high blood pressure. The main drivers in adults are abdominal obesity, alcohol and high salt intake."- Professor Alta Schutte, President of the International Society of Hypertension.
Our bodies need sodium chloride, and too little increases insulin resistance; great care must be taken not to overemphasize salt high blood pressure.
One cup of canned spaghetti sauce contains nearly half of your recommended daily allowance of sodium; 1100mg per serving.
To simplify matters follow this rule.
Mass of sodium x 2.5 = mass of salt.
2300mg sodium x 2.5 ~ 6g salt ~ 1 tsp
Salt high blood pressure research reveals that, if we take too little, it raises cholesterol and increases insulin resistance.
Top of the pops is the average pizza which has 1300mg sodium in two slices, and canned soups at 1600mg per can. Make your own; then you do not have to worry about salt high blood pressure.
"Breakfast cereals like corn flakes have the salinity of sea water; bread is also stuffed with salt."- Professor Neil Poulter, Imperial medical college, London.
Try a few of your own easy soup recipes.
What really muddies the waters is that the recommended no salt recipes, giving a total sodium intake of less than 2000mg per day actually
Sodium is a vital mineral in many processes in the body, not least a healthy inner ear balance mechanism. Are you suffering from vertigo or dizziness?
There is not a shred of evidence showing that reducing sodium intake below 2300 mg provides a better health outcome.Dr Brian Strom, chairman Institute of Medicine.
British Medical Journal 2009
A meta-analysis (summary) of 13 studies however does indicate that high salt intake (over 3600mg of sodium) is strongly associated with higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Twice as likely.
The weakness of this study is that it compared two large groups, both taking too much salt, viz 8g of sodium vs 4g of sodium. Clearly the group consuming 8g per day was at a much higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
All things in moderation
So, the old adage still holds true. Too much salt is bad, too little salt is also bad for you.
Those at risk are anyone eating out regularly, and those relying on the food industry for their soups, sauces, pizzas, TV dinners and fast food in general. Snacks, salted peanuts every day are a recipe for disaster.
New research published in the Journal American Medical Association in January 2015 again confirms that we have perhaps been overly concerned about salt intake. A study of 2600 healthy older folk, over a ten year period, found no significant association between mortality and salt intake up to 2300 mg per day.
It is the whole diet that counts, and certainly those who eat out regularly may find themselves consuming far more than 2300 mg of sodium per day.
Just a can of soup contains about 1000 mg of sodium, and a couple slices of supermarket bread 350 mg.
Using a bread machine to bake your own, it takes only five minutes, gives you control over the salt in your bread. I use 1/2 tsp which contains 1150 mg sodium. One loaf makes 15 slices; 77mg per slice which is less than half of that in commercial bread.
This artisan bread menu recipe is dead easy, but you do need a baking machine; get one second hand; there are plenty about since it's the most underused kitchen appliance apparently.
Bernard Preston uses his every day; only five minutes work to make the most delicious loaf using the best ingredients, half the salt that may be causing your high blood pressure, and what's known as resistant starch; it's not fattening like your supermarket bread.
Just avoid canned soups totally; rather make one of our easy soup recipes.
Find out about resistant starch to get you a happy and healthy colon, and help prevent the neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.
Look rather to your own healthy choice foods remembering that our slogan is healthy food, made fast. There are so many recipes now available, but so many of them take up hours of your life; time you probably don't have. At Bernard-Preston.com you will find simple, nutritious recipes; with none of the salt high blood pressure worries. Slow food made fast is our slogan.
And taste your food before adding any extra. Try to avoid adding too much salt, or none at all, but if you are vigorous with normal blood pressure, then do not stress out.
If you have any cardiovascular concerns, it's far more important to focus on what is causing your cardiovascular system to appear red and angry looking. Foods to reduce inflammation are most likely a good deal more important than salt high blood pressure.
According to a prominent heart surgeon, the inflammation in blood vessels that he views every day has been getting much worse. He attributes this to the switch to polyunsaturate omega 6 fats like sunflower, soyabean and corn in cooking oils and margarine.
In short, return to the foods that your grandmother served, and look twice, no five times, at the meals that your mother serves, before fussing over salt high blood pressure. Yes, and that includes returning to butter, in moderation.
Magnificent sesame oil benefits include returning blood pressure to normal.
More important perhaps is to make sure we are consuming on a daily basis those foods to enable the methylation of homocysteine, a toxic breakdown product of protein metabolism. At least four of the B group of vitamins are vitally important; they are folate, choline, betaine and B12.
Homocysteine has been strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, and senile dementia. Green leafy vegetables contain all the benefits of folate to enable the body to break the toxic compound down.
These choline food sources supply another vitamin necessary for the break down of homocysteine and improve the overall health of your colon.
It is about overpopulating and feeding the healthy microbiota in your large intestine; then the pathogens, should they attack, are outnumbered and by sheer virtue of numbers are overwhelmed; that is where the nasty twisted tor proteins come from in Alzheimer's disease. Do you know about the benefits of kefir?
And have you ever considered a homemade sauerkraut recipe? Food companies cannot make it half as tasty as you can in your own kitchen. To make it palatable and safe they have to add flavour enhancers and preservatives.
Personally, I am very suspicious of all these chemicals they add. Rather, let us turn the television off and make half an hour once a month to prepare our own homemade sauerkraut and kefir recipes.
Are you worried about salt high blood pressure? Just eat out less often.
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