Low sodium meals for hypertension: Examples and more – Medical News Today

Low sodium meals for hypertension: Examples and more – Medical News Today yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

Eating low sodium meals can help manage hypertension. Avoiding table salt and processed foods is a good strategy for keeping blood pressure within a healthy range.
High blood pressure is a condition that affects nearly half of American adults. It is also known as hypertension.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), elevated blood pressure is when readings are consistently:
Doctors diagnose stage one hypertension when readings are between 130–139 mm Hg systolic and 80–89 mm Hg diastolic.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and vision loss. However, healthy lifestyle choices can help manage hypertension. These include limiting the amount of sodium a person eats.
This article looks at low and high sodium foods and explains the impact of potassium on hypertension. It also looks at how to find the sodium content on packaging and outlines useful tips for reducing hypertension.
Preparing meals at home using whole foods can help a person manage hypertension. These include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The following are some examples of low sodium meals that a person can try.
Regular table salt (sodium chloride) is approximately 40% sodium. Just a quarter teaspoon of table salt contains 575 milligrams (mg) of sodium. This is more than one-third the 1,500 mg daily amount the AHA recommends people with high blood pressure do not exceed.
People with high blood pressure can avoid adding salt to meals by using alternative seasonings instead, such as:
The AHA advises that sea salt and kosher salt also contain similar amounts of sodium as table salt. As a result, people with high blood pressure should also avoid adding these to foods.
More than 70% of the sodium in people’s diet comes from processed foods and restaurant foods. In addition, one 2023 study shows that more than 50% of dietary sodium Americans consume comes from the following foods:
Potassium can help manage blood pressure. The more potassium a person eats, the more sodium they excrete through urine.
However, potassium can be harmful for those with kidney disease or any condition that affects how someone processes the mineral. A high potassium diet may also be dangerous for people taking certain medications.
People can discuss with a healthcare professional whether it is safe to increase their potassium intake.
Foods rich in potassium include:
Sometimes, manufacturers list sodium as salt. However, in many cases, it may appear on labels as:
Some food labels detail how much salt a food contains and how much this contributes towards the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
Additionally, sodium may be present in over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs.
Healthcare professionals can advise people about the medications they prescribe. Pharmacists can inform people whether sodium is present in OTC medications. People can also check medication labels or inserts for information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following tips to prevent and manage high blood pressure:
A low sodium meal plan can help manage high blood pressure.
People should be mindful of salt content in processed foods and restaurant dishes and when adding table salt to meals. Preparing fresh meals made from whole foods can help people consume less salt.
In addition, lifestyle modifications can help control blood pressure, such as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol.
Last medically reviewed on November 14, 2023
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