We consume far too much salt. The issue with salt from a taste point of view is the higher the level of salt in our diet the more we become accustomed to it. Our taste buds adapt and therefore food manufacturers have steadily been increasing the salt in our foods over the years to cater for our taste for it.
Most people in the West now consume 50% more salt than is recommended every day.
The interesting thing is if you cut right back on your salt for a month or two, firstly you will likely miss the taste of salt but then food you previously eat will taste very salty. At this point most people don’t crave the higher levels of salt and it is far
easier to maintain a low salt diet.
Salt affects blood pressure. In basic terms too much salt makes your body hold onto excess fluid which leads to an increase in blood volume which in turn increases blood pressure which can lead to high blood pressure. Worldwide high blood pressure causes 60% of all strokes and 49% of all heart attacks.
People with high blood pressure are advised to cut back on salt to help lower their blood pressure. For unknown reasons the affect of salt on some people’s blood pressure is a lot greater than others. These people are often called ‘salt sensitive’. Pretty much everyone with high blood pressure will see some level of reduction in their blood pressure when they reduce the salt in their diet. Salt sensitive people will see the most dramatic reduction in blood pressure.
Note: I am not sure if I am salt sensitive but I reduced my salt consumption to 3 grams a day and I reduced my blood pressure from 160/96 to 148/86. I have lowered my blood pressure further through other diet and lifestyle modifications but a reduction of 12 systolic and 10 diastolic through reducing salt is very significant.
There is no way of knowing if you are salt sensitive or how much your blood pressure will drop through reducing the amount of salt you eat. The only way to check is to reduce your salt consumption to around 3 grams a day for two months and see how it affects your personally.
Note: You have likely eaten high levels of salt for many years. As a result it can take up to two month on a reduced salt diet to see the affect reducing salt has on your blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Causes 62% of all Strokes and 49% of all Heart Attacks... Check your BP on the blood pressure chart. If the chart shows you are in the prehypertension or hypertension ranges, do something about it, even if it is just having a chat with your doctor. The blood pressure chart is for all adults regardless of age, as whilst your age rises, the thresholds for prehypertension and hypertension don't! (there is no blood pressure chart by age!) No matter what your age - if your BP is above 140/90 you should set about lowering it. You can record and monitor your readings on our printable blood pressure log.