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Lower blood pressure naturally: low-salt diet helps
Most patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) have to take medication regularly to lower their blood pressure. However, changing your diet can also have this effect. For example, a low-salt diet can help reduce blood pressure. Some sufferers hope that this will reduce the number of tablets they take.
According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the relationship between table salt intake and blood pressure is clear: "A high table salt intake increases the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension)," write the experts. Reducing salt intake is one way to naturally lower blood pressure. Can those affected also reduce the intake of antihypertensives?
Most of the population consumes too much salt
Salt is vital, but most people consume significantly more salt than the body needs.
According to the DGE, men in Germany consume an average of ten grams of salt and women 8.4 grams a day. 75 percent of men and almost 70 percent of women in Germany eat more than the six grams of salt recommended by the DGE.
Too much salt can raise blood pressure. But as the Swiss Society for Nutrition (SBU) explains on its website, about half of all people who suffer from high blood pressure can lower it with a reduced-salt diet.
One of the biggest health risks in the western world
According to experts, around 20 to 30 million people suffer from hypertension in Germany alone. Untreated hypertension is one of the greatest health risks in the western world.
It is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and is therefore responsible for many deaths from a heart attack or stroke.
In many cases, high blood pressure is treated with drugs. However, high blood pressure can often be reduced without medication. Among other things, a low-salt diet can help.
Use salt sparingly
According to the SBU, the majority of the table salt that we consume comes from products such as sausages and sausages, smoked and salted meat products, ready meals or savory biscuits, but also from cheese or bread.
Therefore, it may be advisable to rethink the consumption of these foods. According to the experts, preference is given to fresh products such as fruit, vegetables, potatoes, whole grain cereals, fresh meat, fish, eggs, milk, yoghurt and curd cheese.
Also in the kitchen, it is important to always use table salt sparingly. Herbal salt, aroma, broth, sauce pastes, meat seasonings and the like also contain a lot of salt. It is best not to season again at the table.
Lower blood pressure naturally
However, it does not make sense to eat without salt. The SBU recommends that you try to season with herbs, spices, fresh garlic and onions to taste and replace some of the salt.
The sensation of salt will adapt step by step so that the food is not perceived as bland.
Other measures that are recommended for high blood pressure are weight loss if you are overweight, moderate alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and regular exercise. Blood pressure levels should continue to be checked.
But even if the low-salt diet and other measures help to reduce blood pressure: The medication should never be reduced or even discontinued without consulting a doctor. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.