There were days when people dreaded of high blood pressure or hypertension. There were days when this was something that was not as common as it is today. With work pressure, laid back lifestyle, stress and several other factors, high blood pressure has become very common. The moment you know that you have a high blood pressure you would be showered with suggestions of altering your diet. One such advice anyone with high blood pressure would get is to lower the salt intake. Does salt really have that much impact on your blood pressure?
Theories and speculations:
The speculation that a high salt diet increases blood pressure is based on the concept of osmosis. Roughly osmosis speaks of how water or any solvent would flow from an area of low solute concentration to that of high concentration. So naturally when you have a high salt diet, there would be a high concentration of sodium in your blood and this might draw more water towards your blood stream. This is believed to increase the blood pressure.
Is the theory valid?
Well the concept might sound logical. But there has been no solid evidence or research to support this theory yet. Unless you have a very low blood pressure, doctors advise following a low salt or a low sodium diet in general. There have been studies that show that salt doesn’t directly aggravate hypertension condition. Salt causes different reactions in different people. Few people with hypertension did show an elevated blood pressure on consuming high-salt diet. But there were few who weren’t affected much. This is because salt is not the only factor that alters the blood pressure. Even with no valid report yet on the direct link between salt and hypertension, health organizations still recommend following a low sodium diet.
No sodium or low sodium salt is now available in the market for those who wish to go by the theory. But there are few experts who are concerned about the impacts of lack of sodium in the diet too. There were few research findings that showed that some people who consumed very less salt than the normally required quantity had some risk of heart ailments.
So does salt raise your blood pressure?
Theoretically- Yes! Factually- well, not really!
It is up to you to decide on whether to go by the speculation or to believe what research says. In general though, even the theory goes that a high salt intake increases blood pressure. So it would be ideal to keep it in the normal range. Besides, salt isn’t the only factor that causes or increases hypertension. Factors like age group, body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption directly impact the blood pressure.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle are the secrets to good health. Whether or not you have hypertension, start following a healthy balanced diet. Get up and get moving. Stay active and exercise regularly. This can keep your blood pressure in the normal range. And about salt- keep the consumption in the normal range. Avoid high salt diet and do not skip salt entirely either.