Salt is Not the Problem: Ways to Maintain a Well Balanced Blood Pressure

One of the best-known recommendations for maintaining proper blood pressure is a low-salt diet - but it is not the only recommendation. What other nutritional changes will help us to balance blood pressure, and why reducing the salt that is added to food is not necessarily effective?

a hand holding salt

Reducing table salt

Most people interpret the recommendation for low-sodium diet by reducing the salt they add to food. In fact, 75% of salt consumption comes from processed foods and not from the table salt. About 10% comes from food naturally, and only 15% is added to food during or after preparing the food.

So what can you do to keep your blood pressure balanced? Reduce processed foods

Consumption of processed foods increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity and is associated with elevated blood pressure, in part because of the amount of salts in these foods. Reduce the consumption of processed foods that are harmful to your health, including 
  • processed meats
  • sausages
  • hamburgers
  • kebabs
  • cakes and cookies
  • prepared sauces and soup powders.

Reduce your intake of junk food and prefer a diet rich in foods that are natural as possible like 

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • legumes: lentils, beans, peas
  • Whole grains
  • Tahini, 
  • avocado and nuts.

Increase potassium intake

Potassium is an essential mineral in our daily diet. It is important for normal metabolism, muscle contraction and proper functioning of the nervous system. A diet rich in potassium helps neutralize the harmful effects of excessive sodium intake. Vegetables and fruits are an excellent source of potassium from the natural foods, it is recommended to eat them with their shell. Another good source of potassium are legumes.

Increase magnesium intake

Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the body. It is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions, health and functions in a variety of systems in the body: cardiovascular system, immune system, nervous system, bones and muscles, and helps maintain normal blood pressure.
Sources of magnesium from the diet: Vegetables, mainly green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Limit your alcohol intake

Consumption of large amounts of alcohol is linked to morbidity: endangers the liver, affects sugar and triglycerides, and increases the risk of hypertension. Today there is no recommendation to include alcohol in the diet. If you use alcohol on a daily basis, it is recommended to limit the amount per serving per day.

Exercise regularly

An active lifestyle has been found to be beneficial for a variety of health conditions, including maintaining balanced blood pressure. A Combination of aerobic exercise: walking, running, cycling, skiing; And anaerobic exercise: weight lifting or high jump - will help lower blood pressure and maintain balanced blood pressure.

If you are not a gym person, be sure to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. In case of a medical problem, consult your family doctor. Try to live an active lifestyle, prefer stairs over an elevator and walk as much as possible.

Always consult a doctor!