Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure
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Eating too much salt can massively raise a person’s blood pressure. Therefore any foods with an excess of salt should ideally be “avoided.” One expert spoke with Express.co.uk about how to maintain a healthy diet.
GP and advisor for LoSalt, Doctor Sarah Jarvis, explained: “Excess salt in the diet is a major international health issue.
“If salt intake fell by a third, it would prevent 8,000 premature deaths in the UK and could save the NHS over £500 million annually.
“Salt raises blood pressure and high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.”
Around 9.5 million people in the UK are currently diagnosed with high blood pressure, with numbers rising since 2005.
And it’s estimated that for every 10 people diagnosed with high blood pressure, seven remain undiagnosed and untreated.
But some of the nation’s favourite foods could be making things worse.
She warned specifically against eating too much bacon, ham and sausages due to their high salt content.
“Keep processed meats to a minimum,” she said.
Doctor Jarvis shared some other tips for reducing salt intake.
She said: “Avoid seasoning and adding salt to food at home.
“Using herbs, spices and lemon juice can be good alternatives to flavour your food instead.
“Weaning yourself off salt can take some getting used to, but your palate will adjust.
“If you can’t go without salt, I advise you to season with sense and use a reduced sodium salt like LoSalt instead.
“It’s the sodium in salt which is linked to high blood pressure.”
She added: “Don’t be duped into thinking posh gourmet sea and rock salts are better for you.
“Some of these manufacturers make very misleading claims.
“They all contain exactly the same amount of sodium as regular table salt and any other trace minerals will be present in such small quantities that you won’t get any benefit.”
Blood pressure is measured by two numbers, the systolic pressure (the higher number) and diastolic pressure (lower).
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80).
Ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
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