Salt and High Blood Pressure?

Fact or Fiction: Too much salt intake can cause high blood pressure (or hypertension) in everyone.

False. Although salt and high blood pressure are related, too much salt does not necissarily mean you will have high blood pressure. Doctors, the government and society in general have been quick to tell Americans to cut back on their sodium intake. In response, many food companies have come out with reduced sodium foods, and many members of society have turned to alternative or healthier versions of salt, such as rock salt or salt substitutes.

When Salt Does Cause High Blood Pressure
Salt and high blood pressure are related if someone has been diagnosed as "salt sensitive" or has hypertension already. For these people, too much salt is likely to affect them in a negative way. In this case it is a good idea to stay on a low sodium diet and to cut back on salt by staying away from canned foods, box dinners, and especially dried noodle meals such as Top Ramen. These foods are high in salt and can make symptoms of high blood pressure worse if one already high blood pressure.

Did you know? Top Ramen contains over 76% of the Sodium you need in a day in just one package!

Why Are Some People More Sensitive to Salt Than Others?
Doctors and scientists are not sure exactly why some people are more sensitive to sodium, but part of it may have to do with other chemicals that interact with salt such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. All these minerals are important in making your muscles and other body functions work. For example, potassium lowers blood pressure by helping your blood vessels dialiate. A deficiency in one of these minerals can off set the balance of the others.

What if You Are Not Hypertensive?
For those of us who are not hypertensive, it is okay to enjoy your salt for now. There is no scientific evidence that salt causes high blood pressure. However, it may still be a good idea to cut back on salt in case you are hypertensive, or at least until further studies can be made.

Here is a similar article about salt sensitivity:


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