High Blood Pressure: Why salt is considered a harbinger of hypertension?

High blood pressure aka hypertension is one of the common health issues in India, as well as across the world. The condition is also known as a silent killer as it damages the body for years before symptoms develop. Read on to know why salt is the main villain when it comes to hypertension.
High Blood Pressure: Why salt is considered a harbinger of hypertension?High Blood Pressure: Why salt is considered a harbinger of hypertension?
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High blood pressure aka hypertension is one of the common health issues in India, as well as across the world. The condition is also known as a silent killer as it damages the body for years before symptoms develop. If left untreated, other life-threatening heart attack, stroke, kidney, eye and brain issues follow. And that's why it is vital to note that high blood pressure is serious and if not controlled then it can be fatal. Also, people should know that it is preventable and manageable. Today, we are talking about how salt (sodium content) affects the blood pressure and how one should keep a check on its intake to keep BP at safe levels.

As per a study of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Indians consume double the recommended intake of salt. The estimated average salt consumption among Indians is approximately 11 grams per day which is almost double the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended intake limit of 5 grams per day. And that's why Indians are at high risk of developing hypertension. Salt helps kidneys to hold on to more water. However, extra stored water raises your blood pressure and puts a strain on your kidneys.

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Our body removes unwanted fluid by filtering your blood through your kidneys. And for the same, kidneys use osmosis wherein a delicate balance of sodium and potassium is maintained. More salt than required tosses up the balance and create pressure on vital organs including kidneys. The extra strain can damage the kidneys and if not treated, one can also suffer from kidney failure as toxic waste products poison the body slowly.

Aside from kidneys, salt also puts pressure on arteries. In order to cope with strain, the walls of arteries become thicker and smaller and blood pressure against the walls gets higher. This again leads to clogging of blood vessels thus damaging other vital organs like heart eventually.

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The best way to prevent a heart attack is to stop the arteries from becoming damaged. And, one of the best ways of doing this is by keeping the blood pressure down by adding less salt in food. The raised blood pressure can cause damage to the brain as well. High blood pressure can also lead to dementia as well. Cells in the brain stop working as enough oxygen and nutrients hardly reach. If arteries leading to brain clog then one can even suffer a stroke. 

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Instead of table salt, rock salt, pink salt, black salt and other alternatives should be used as they are healthier. One should opt for low sodium food options, limit the intake of canned and processed food and increase the intake of potassium-rich foodstuff as it negates the effects of salt for normal BP. Aside from a healthy diet which has less salt, one should also indulge in some form of physical activity for best results. 

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