Low Sodium Diet for Hypertension
The average American consumes too much salt -- about 3,300 mg per day. A low sodium hypertension diet contains about 1,500 mg of salt per day. Adopting a low sodium diet can reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, combining a low sodium diet with what's known as the DASH eating plan can reduce blood pressure by an amount similar to that seen with medication.
Salt can make your blood vessels and body tissues swell and fill with fluid. This puts an extra strain on your heart and can increase blood pressure.
Most Americans consume more salt than they should -- an average level of 3,300 milligrams per day (about 1.5 teaspoons). The current recommendation is to consume less than 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. The 6 grams includes all salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table.
(Click Salt and High Blood Pressure to learn more about how an excess of salt in your diet may increase the risk of hypertension.)
Adopting a low sodium hypertension diet can reduce blood pressure. Combining this diet with what's known as the DASH diet (DASH stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension") can reduce blood pressure by an amount similar to that seen with medication.
Recent research has shown that people consuming diets of 1,500 mg of sodium had even better blood pressure-lowering benefits. A low sodium diet also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work more effectively.
(Click DASH Diet to learn more about this diet and its effect on blood pressure.)