Friday, November 11, 2011

Salt and High Blood Pressure

Dear Madame L,

My doctor just diagnosed me with borderline-high blood pressure. She told me I should cut back drastically on salt in my diet, but I've heard that high sodium isn't the main reason for high blood pressure. What can you tell me about this?


I Love Salt

Dear Salt-Lover,

Madame L thinks you should follow your doctor's instructions to the letter. 

High sodium intake has been implicated as a cause of high blood pressure, even though there are other causes, including genetics, obesity, lack of exercise, and other dietary factors.

Why would you want to test this on yourself? 

Take care,

Madame L


Ellen said...

Dear Madame L, As someone who has high blood pressure, and is on medication for it, I'd like to comment, too. I think your answer was very good--most of us would benefit from cutting back on salt, with or without high blood pressure. I assumed I was supposed to do just that, at the time of my diagnosis, and I've learned to appreciate the flavors of food without all the salt. Interestingly enough, after my last annual check-up, I was told that my sodium levels were too LOW, and I actually needed to start salting my food a little more! When the nurse called me with that news, she said she had never before been asked to give that message to any of the doctor's patients. That's beside the point, I know, but I just wanted to share, lol. High blood pressure is serious, and, as you implied, using yourself as a guinea pig with such a serious health concern would not be very wise. There are a lot of seasonings available that can make food taste soooo good, without all that salt!! Good luck to your Dear Reader.

AskTheGeologist said...

Uhhh. Am I the only person on Earth who finds the taste of salt to be really bothersome? Tastes to me like like someone chemically doped the food. I NEVER add salt to my food.

But I can't tolerate the artificial cheese and ranch flavors added to potato chips, either, and oil added to food (e.g., fried) tastes like I imagine 10W-20 motor oil would taste. Guck. Not that I've tried crank-case oil all THAT often.

Now, if I just had the same instincts about avoiding sugar...
sadly, my teeth prove otherwise.