Salt & Hypertension How Diet can Help You Prevent Heart Disease by Dr. King in San Marino, CASunday, July 15th, 2012, 7:07 pm
Many people are ingesting up to 10 teaspoons of salt a day when the prescribed daily amount of salt for adults is only one teaspoon a day. Children should not be getting more than one-third of that amount. WHY IS THAT–because salt is added to so many processed foods and pre-packaged foods (even the healthy ones it acts as preservative).
Excessive salt intake is linked to hypertension, which leads to high blood pressure
Our country has one of the highest hypertension rates in the world. Reducing salt is a start to reducing hypertension.
The worst highly salted processed foods are breakfast cereals, canned and packaged foods, such as soups, jams, pickles, processed meats, etc. Packaged sauces, flavourings, two-minute noodles and frozen meals all contain high levels of salt, as do many cheeses. I know many people love cheese and the quick fix deli meat even though it’s low fat and lean it’s high in salt.
Apart from salt, many of these processed foods also contain chemical food additives that can also interfere with your metabolism, and prevent you from losing weight. YES! those so called healthy looking processed foods effect your weight. The best way to be healthy is to make the food yourself.
The following tips can help you lower your sodium chloride intake:
- Slowly reduce the amount of salt you add to your food at home. This is easy if you cook your own food.
- Minimise your consumption of processed foods. This may be hard for those who eat on the run.
- Check the labels and avoid foods with high sodium content and numerous chemical food additives. Shop for low salt, no salt and salt reduced products. The nutrition list on your packaged or canned foods should have no more than 120mg of sodium per 100 grams.
- Try to minimise the use of processed condiments, flavourings, stock cubes and meat extracts. Many of these also contain hidden MSGs – a chemical food additive with serious adverse health reactions, and an extremely high sodium content.
- Try to flavour your home-cooked meals with herbs and spices, rather than salt/sodium
Herbs such as basil, thyme, marjoram and origanum turn a pasta or pizza dish into an Italian feast, whilst spices such as pepper, chillies, garlic, bay leaves and cardamon, all make excellent flavourings for curries or Thai food.
Cinnamon and cloves can enhance the taste of pancakes or baked apples, whilst olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, tahini and herbs can all be used to flavour salads.
- Many people are now choosing Himalayan salt (rock salt) over sodium chloride. Although Himalayan salt also has a high sodium-chloride content, it is said to contain a host of important minerals and trace elements.
All it takes is a few small steps to make a large impact in your health. You don’t have to do a 180 to start being healthy simple changes can go a long way to make you feel better and prevent things like heart disease. It’s especially important to start early so your kids don’t get used to eating on the run.
All the best for amazing GREAT health!
Dr. Stephanie King
“All statements made in this blog do not constitute individual medical advise please consult your own personal health care physician in regards to specific health issues or before starting any new health program.”