Salt and Hypertension

A diet high in sodium (a component of salt) is often linked to hypertension. Controlling salt and sodium in the diet will prevent the risk of hypertension. Other than sodium, some contributing factors to hypertension are family history, increased age, smoking, being overweight, sedentary or inactive lifestyle, and alcoholism. Hypertension increases the danger of having heart diseases.

It is estimated that Filipinos eat more salt than required. The typical Filipino diet contains about 2000 milligrams (mg) of natural sodium coming from foods as well as from salt added to food which is about 5 grams (g). With the addition of other salty condiments like bagoong, soy sauce or fish sauce during cooking or on the table, the sodium intake increases to about 6000 mg or about 15 g salt per day.

Selecting brands of foods with lower sodium content and eating fruits and vegetables without adding salt, can lower the sodium in your diet considerably. The use of herbs, spices and salt-free seasoning blends can add flavor without increasing sodium in the diet. These are easy and convenient ways to add satisfying flavor to just about any recipe.

Even healthy people should watch their sodium intake. Nutrition experts recommend a healthfuleating pattern which is moderate in sodium, a physically active lifestyle, and maintaining normal weight. (Source: fnri.gov.ph)