Consuming too much salt can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, it’s best to eat meals low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
This is, of course, good dietary advice for everyone, regardless of their blood pressure.
Salt and High Blood Pressure
Too much salt or sodium can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, this is why your doctor will recommend limiting how much salt you eat to no more than about 1 teaspoon per day.
Another rule to follow is consuming 1,500 milligrams a day of salt if you have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, or if you are 51 years of age or older(That is half teaspoon)
To stay on track, choose low-sodium and no-added-salt foods and seasonings, and read nutrition facts labels carefully to determine the amount of sodium added to packaged and processed foods.
Get Plenty of Potassium
Since potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells, not getting enough can lead to too much sodium in your blood.
Hence, getting plenty of potassium can help prevent and control high blood pressure.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, even if you don’t have hypertension, so everyone should monitor alcoholic intake.
Once diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan, which focuses on heart-healthy foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and rich in nutrients, protein, and fiber.
Foods may include the following:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
DASH limits the following:
- Red meats (including lean red meats)
- Added sugars
- Sugar-containing drinks
While your doctor will help tailor the DASH diet to your needs, the following is an example of the recommended servings from each food group for someone on the diet.
- 6 to 8 servings a day of grains
- 4 to 5 servings a day of vegetables
- 4 to 5 servings a day of fruits
- 2 to 3 servings a day of dairy
- 6 or fewer servings a day of lean meat, poultry, and fish
- 4 to 5 servings a week of nuts, seeds, and legumes
- 2 to 3 servings a day of fats and oils
- 5 or fewer sweets a week