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Cooking with Salt

Salt and High Blood Pressure


It has been well known since the ’80s and ’90s that salt had an effect on High Blood Pressure.


After receiving a message from a friend about my blog on salt, I decided to do a little more research into Salt and High Blood Pressure.

One of the main differences in research on High Blood Pressure that I found is that not all people get high blood pressure because they are not as sensitive to salt.


The next thing I found is that high blood pressure is related to a kidney problem.  The Kidneys with the help of Sodium and Potassium pull the excess water out of your blood.  When too much sodium (Salt) is in your system it upsets the sodium/potassium balance. Your kidneys can no longer pull all the excess water from your blood.  This causes higher blood pressure.


This higher pressure in your arteries over time damages your kidneys this is known as kidney disease.  Other arteries in your system are also damaged such as the ones going into your heart and brain. This damage to the arteries caused by high blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke. Blood Pressure UK


There are several stages to hypertension (high blood pressure)


Prehypertension is when your blood pressure is when your systolic pressure (higher number) is 120-129.  The diastolic (lower number) is under 80.


Stage 1 your systolic reading would be between 130 and 139 and the diastolic between 80 and 89.

Stage 3 hypertension the systolic reading would be over 139 and diastolic over 89.


There are rarely symptoms of high blood pressure. However, if they do occur they could include the following:  headaches, dizziness, nosebleeds, nausea and or vomiting, shortness of breath and blurred vision. Very Well Health


Health Canada has a large section on sodium it is found under Sodium in Canada -


It states that the average Canadian eats 3400 Mg. of Sodium per day.  More than double the amount we need each day.


Health Canada recommends for adults 14-50 yrs. 1500-2300 Mg/day.  With 1500 being the Adequate Amount (A1) and 2300 Mg/Day being the maximum.

For adults 51-70 the A1 is 1500 Mg/Day,  Age 70 and over the A1 is 1200 Mg/Day


In 2004 a Community Health Survey found that the Tolerable Upper Intake Limit (UL) for people from 9-70 yrs old was exceeded by 85% of men and 60 - 80% of women.


In this same survey, it was found some foods higher in sodium were consumed in lower amounts such as processed meats, gravies and sauces, while some foods which were lower in sodium were consumed in larger amounts such as bread.


In a 2009 study, it was found that a high sodium intake significantly increased the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

High intake of sodium has also been associated with:


  • High blood pressure Hypertension
  • Vascular and cardiac damage independent of high blood pressure
  • Detrimental effects on Calcium and bone metabolism
  • Increased risk of Stomach Cancer
  • Severity of Asthma


According to Health Canada Sodium Detector which you can find online at Health Canada >Food and Nutrition> Food Guides and Healthy Eating > Nutrients> Sodium.  If you click on the different areas on the chart you will find an expanded list of foods.


If you select the sodium source from the expanding list you will find the following information


Processed Foods-77% of the foods we eat are processed such as deli meats, soups, sauces, pizza.  Packaged and ready-to-eat foods, fast foods and restaurant foods are often high in sodium.


Naturally Occurring - 12% is found in Milk, Meat, Fruits and Vegetables


Ingredients added at the table-6% Sodium is found in salt, sauces, condiments and dressings


Ingredients added during cooking -5% Sodium is found in Salt, condiments and dressings that are added during cooking.


All of my research found that any processed foods, pre-packaged and ready-to-eat foods as well as fast foods and restaurant meals should be eliminate completely from your diet.  This is not always practical. However, limiting these foods to special occasions can go a long way in eliminating excess salt intake.

Another tip is if you use canned or frozen fruits and vegetables rinse them off under running water to help remove the salt.


Learn to read Labels.  Salt can be listed under many forms such as:

  • Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Alginate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Gluconate, Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Propionate
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Brine
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Salt such as celery salt, Onion Salt, Table Salt
  • Soy Sauce


Remember that 5% or less of your Daily Value (DV) is low and 15% DV is high.  This applies to all nutrients. With salt, we want 5% DV or less


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The Advice on this site is not meant to replace the advice of a physician or dietician.  Please consult a Doctor before starting any new diet plan.  Remember to tell your physician and pharmacist about any Supplements you may be taking.