Salt, or specifically the sodium in salt, is a huge contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Table salt is about 40 percent sodium, of which you’re recommended to eat about one teaspoon a day with high blood pressure.
These foods are a major contributor to daily salt intake:
- Breads and rolls
- Cured meats
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Processed and deli meats are often packed with sodium as manufacturers cure, season and preserve them with salt.
Even the ones dubbed ‘low salt’ tend to be pretty high in sodium, so try and avoid if you can.
A diet high in salt can upset the normal balance of sodium in your body, leading to fluid retention and subsequently a higher blood pressure.
According to figures from Action on Salt, reducing your sodium intake from 10g a day to 6g could reduce your blood pressure. It could result in a 16 percent reduction in stroke deaths and a 12 percent reduction in coronary heart disease deaths.
Too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure drastically, so don’t be surprised if you’re recommended to cut back on the booze.
Alcohol can also prevent any blood pressure medication you may be taking from working properly through drug interactions.
In addition, many alcoholic drinks are high in sugar and calories, meaning too much of it can contribute to obesity, which in turn increases the risk of hypertension.
If cutting back on alcohol is a difficult feat for you, talk to your GP or doctor about what your options are.