The link between excessive salt intake and high blood pressure have been firmly established. In response a lot of people will sprinkle less salt on their meals or stop using salt altogether. Yet the high blood pressure remains. Why?
First of all, its important to point out that high blood pressure has a lot of causes such as stress, genetics, high cholesterol, genetics, etc. If too much salt is the main cause of your hypertension then cutting down on salt should lower your blood pressure. But for many of us it’s simply not enough. we need to incorporate a range of healthy measures into our daily lives.
Secondly, salt effects people and their blood pressure differently. Some people display a high ‘sodium intolerance’ which means that their bodies can not tolerate the same salt levels as others without developing negative symptoms such as elevated blood pressure. However, the majority of us do not suffer from sodium intolerance – but that’s not the same things as saying we can consume all the slat we want with no ill effects. Moderation is always the key when it comes to salt.
The recommended intake of salt a day per adult is below 6 grams – although 3 or less grams considered safer. By the way, there is approximately 6 grams salt in 1 teaspoon of table salt and around 2 grams of salt in 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
Very few of use sprinkle more than 3 grams a day on our meals with a salt shaker. I would suspect that very few of us would even reach 1 gram a day with the shaker. Even 1 gram is a lot of shaking.
We overdose on salt no t with the shaker but with the salt content hidden in a lot of food we buy. I’m not just talking about fast food, restaurant food, or highly processed ‘treats’ like crisps / chips. Take you everyday white sliced bread for example. On average there is 0.4 grams of salt in each slice. Have a few slices, with salted butter and a preservative and you are soon exceeding your daily recommended salt intake – without ever touching the salt shaker.
Many breakfast cereals are also another high salt food meal that we normally would consider healthy. So what’s on to do?
First, shop for food wisely and choose the ‘low salt/sodium’ variety over the standard one. Secondly go back to basics and prepare more meals yourself from simple unprocessed food. Learn to bake bread and control the amount salt, if any, you care to put in.
If you do this you can get out the old salt shaker and start using it again. After all it’s good to have some salt in your diet. if you lived solely on a diet of raw food prepared by yourself you could suffer salt deprivation.
Personally I like salt, good salt that is, genuine harvested sea salt from the shores of Brittany – Sel de Guerande. Unlike the bleached chemical sodium available in stores, genuine sea salt is a light grayish color, full of all the trace elements and nutrients from the sea. It cost more, (around $14 for a 1,000 grams), but a kilogram should last me for many years.
So there you have it. Don’t be a victim of overconsumption of hidden salt in common foods. Choose low salt varieties or prepare food yourself. You’ll then be able to enjoy salt on your food again in much smaller and healthier quantities.
For the ultimate guide in good eating and healthy eating that will help you lower your blood pressure and enjoy your food more, I can give no higher recommendation than Kevin Riley’s Get Natural. This book and food guide has changed the way I eat and look at food forever – all for the better. If you already have a copy you know what I mean. If not you can grab one thriough the link below: