Hypertension? Reduce your salt intake!

Balancing your salt consumption will not only help you bring down the level of hypertension but also help you lose weight.


Let me break one more myth about salt intake in food and make your life healthier and better. While it’s ok to use toothpaste with namak, it can be extremely unhealthy for you too. Though salt is an indispensable ingredient in cooking and most of our food contains sodium, the added salt (sodium 40%, chloride 60%) is the major source of sodium in our diet.  

What does sodium do?

  • It helps in the maintenance of water balance & equilibrium.
  • It helps in nerve conduction & fluid balance
  • It helps in the electro-physiological functions of the cell  

Sodium balance depends on the kidney function. High intake of salt (sodium chloride) is associated with high blood pressure and at times leads to stomach cancer. According to the 7th report of joint national committee on prevention ,detection ,evaluation & treatment of high blood pressure NIH publication no. 03-523333 the reduction of dietary sodium intake to no more than 100mmol/d (2.4 g sodium or 6gms sodium chloride) can approximately reduce 2 to 4 mmHg of systolic blood pressure. The Sodium requirements of our body can be met with moderate salt intake and can be balanced by potassium intake.



Our body has powerful in-built mechanisms that maintains blood pressure even on minimal sodium intake. Sodium is rapidly absorbed from the digestive tract & a positive balance is achieved on intakes just above minimal requirements. Most of the sodium requirements depend on its losses through urine, faeces & sweat. The sweat loss varies according to climatic conditions. High ambient temperatures & vigorous physical exercise increase sodium loss through sweat. Even after 6 hours of hard physical exercise, which may generate 3 litres of sweat, the requirement of sodium chloride may not be more than 6 g/day. Natural diets, in general, provide about 300-400 mg of sodium a day. Cereals, pulses, vegetables, animal & sea foods are the major sources of sodium. Indian data indicate that per capita consumption of salt ranges from less than 5g to 30g/day in different States with almost 40% of population consuming about 10g/day.

Assuming that most of you reading this article will benefit from the read, I would like to add that balancing your salt intake will not only help you lose wight, but also bring down the levels of hypertension.


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