Blog #622 Past the Salt Please

Pass the Salt please (… or maybe the salt substitute)
http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsit…/…/Home/Whysaltisbad

Okay, I’m a ‘salt-aholic’!! I am a direct descendant of Lot’s wife (who in the Bible was turned into a pillar of salt). My mother (in particular) was one who loved her salt (and she lived to 98 years old). Both my parents would sprinkle a little salt on their food before tasting it (knowing that it just wouldn’t be salty enough for them). My father would put salt on his watermelon (I’ve tried that and it is good!!)

The linked article says “The amount of salt you eat has a direct effect on your blood pressure. Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys, and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. Also, eating too much salt may mean that blood pressure medicines don’t work as well as they could”

A link off that article says that too much salt can hurt the kidney function “Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water. The result is a higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys.”

Likewise, too much salt can put extra strain on the various arteries and blood vessels (hmmm – like the aorta problems I had two years ago).

And … don’t forget the brain!!! The arteries leading to the brain can become narrower (due to the salt) and may lead to a form of dementia (vascular dementia).

So … the basic solution to too much salt (and high blood pressure is to (are you ready for this?) “use less salt”!!! (Yes, I know that is profound!!!)

Unfortunately, that is not as easy as it sounds. Salt is in “everything”.

When grocery shopping, flip the item over and read the nutritional statement. Ketchup is definitely a problem – salt added, high fructose corn syrup added (sugar). Bread has salt, I know I have a choice between salted and unsalted butter (and I love the taste of salted butter). So be a smart shopper.

And, from another article “Processed foods and restaurant meals supply about 80 percent of the sodium consumed in the U.S. and are a bigger worry than salt from your salt shaker.” Yuck!!! Now, I can’t even enjoy a meal out!!!

Okay – fallout!!

Food just won’t taste right without salt. TRUE.

But, persevere. Eventually, it WILL taste right (at least according to this article). This morning as I prepared my boiled eggs, I didn’t use any salt – but used garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika for seasoning. Maybe not as good as a ‘touch of salt’.

Takeaways – I am going to really work on my salt intake. My blood pressure is generally high and worries me, so time to work on lowering my salt.

How about you? Are you a ‘salt-aholic’ too?

Bruce

Posted by Bruce White

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