High salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure even when countered with a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables.
In a recent study, researchers found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables did not prevent high blood pressure caused by eating too much salt.
Dr. Jeremiah Stamler and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Hypertension.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the force of blood that pushes against the artery walls becomes too high. This can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels and raise the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says that around 75 million people in the United States have high blood pressure.
Salt Consumption: Hypertension Link
Eating too much salt is considered a key risk factor for high blood pressure. So, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we limit our intake of sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams, or approximately one teaspoon, each day.
But despite this recommendation, most adults in the United States consume more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily.
Salt Consumption: Hypertension Reductions
Health organizations state that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to lower blood pressure, but can such a diet counteract the effects of a high salt intake? Not according to Dr. Stamler and colleagues.
Data was from 4,680 men and women who were a part of the International Study on Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure.
Potassium is a mineral found in fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, and pumpkin.
The results of the study revealed that participants who had a high salt consumption in their diet were more likely to have hypertension than those with low dietary salt, regardless of their intake of fruits and vegetables (potassium).
The best solution is a low salt diet.
Salt Consumption: Where Does It Come From?
HIgh salt content can be found in restaurant foods as well as foods that are processed. Influencing manufacturers to reduce high salt content in their foods is key to reducing hypertension.