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How a Low-Salt Diet Can Significantly Improve Your Blood Pressure in One Week

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

CDC reports that about 120 million Americans, or nearly half of the adult population, have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).


Among adults in the United States, only 1/4 have their hypertension under control.

Premature death and cardiovascular disease are the main causes of death worldwide, and high blood pressure is a key risk factor for both. The CDC reports that about 120 million Americans, or nearly half of the adult population, have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).


low salt diet
low salt


Low Salt Means Lower Blood Pressure


Even if you're currently on medicine for high blood pressure, cutting back on salt consumption by only one teaspoon per day can have a dramatic effect on your blood pressure.


Nearly three quarters of people will see a decline in their blood pressure in as little as one week when they went from a high salt to low salt diet.


The average amount of blood pressure lowering was about 8 points for systolic blood pressure, which is similar to the effect produced by medications for high blood pressure.









Effects of High-Sodium vs. Low-Sodium Diets


A high-sodium diet of 2,200 milligrams (mg) per day was added to the regular diets of some participants, while others followed a low-sodium diet of 500 mg per day for a week. Sodium intake below 1,500 mg per day is recommended by the American Heart Association. The following week, each group switched to the other's diet plan.


CDC reports that about 120 million Americans, or nearly half of the adult population, have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).


what a low sodium diet looks like
Low Sodium Choices


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high sodium foods




Most people's regular diets already contain an excessive amount of sodium (about 4,500 mg per day).


The salt shaker isn't at blame for most of the sodium you're taking in. Instead, processed and ready-to-eat foods like deli meat, pizza, tacos, and chips account for more than 70 % of the sodium in the average American's diet.


Just as any physical activity is better than none for most people, any reduction in sodium from the current usual diet is likely better than none.


Modifying one's way of life is the starting point, the 'base of the pyramid,' if you will. In the event that lifestyle changes alone are insufficient to achieve the desired results, medication may be prescribed.


Adopting a low-sodium diet is simple, but keeping it up long-term is more challenging, as is the case with many shifts in eating habits, according to Laffin.


It is recommended that people first attempt to measure the amount of salt in their diets by reading labels and conducting online research. Then opting for low- or reduced-sodium variants of the meals you eat.


As a target one should aim for fewer than 2,300 mg daily (equal to one level teaspoon) and to ideally ingest less than 1,500 mg daily.


Be aware that sodium is sneakily present in everything. Bread, salad dressings, and cheese are foods we don't think of as having a lot of salt, but that actually do.


If you want to cut down on your sodium intake try focusing on a plant-based diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables (and avoiding overly processed meals).



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