You may have heard about a new report on the benefits of cutting salt. The researchers that conducted this study looked at a massive number of salt studies to see its effect on high blood pressure. Here's what they found.
If you cut your salt intake for just four weeks, you'll see a small but significant reduction (5mm) in your systolic blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure is when you start, the greater the reduction.
They also found that less salt did not adversely affect kidney or cholesterol function. But they did find that there is something you can take that will lead to lower blood pressure — potassium.
Their conclusion is that you should eat more veggies and fruits containing potassium, such as bananas, oranges, and leafy greens like spinach.
One of the lead authors of the review said that the easiest thing you can do is eat three servings of fruit and veggies on top of what you are eating now.
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This was a good report, but sort of sad that they're behind those of us in integrative medicine by 20 years. I'm pleased that this is making international news. But I'm still shocked. I have many patients with high blood pressure who were never told to clean up their diet. Instead, their doctor simply handed them a prescription for drugs to suppress their blood pressure. That's how the medical schools trained me to do it as well in the 1970's. Even then there was good observational science on diet and vascular disease.
Don't expect your blood pressure to decline a lot and immediately. If you have hypertension, remember, it took years for you to get here, so it might take many months or years to reverse the stiffness you've brought into your blood vessels. But it will happen.
My blood pressure has fallen considerably in the last 13 years since coming to California. It is now about 90/60, sometimes less. You know my diet. It is exceptionally rich in potassium. Most people get processed white salt in processed foods, as well as their salt shaker. This salt is toxic.
I eat a LOT of salt in my homemade salad dressing. However, my salt is either Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Salt. These salts are simply packed with minerals and in nearly the exact proportion as you have in your blood. I've seldom seen these raise blood pressure. If you must use salt, use one of these, please. You can find them in many health food stores and online.