Once you are diagnosed with hypertension it is important that you make several major lifestyle changes to help reduce high blood pressure. While many of the other changes can bring unneeded added stress, one of the easiest changes you can make is to eliminate sodium from your diet. You can do this without having to give all your favorite foods. Just follow these easy steps and you will be on your way to a low sodium diet that can help reduce hypertension.
If you have the habit of adding extra salt to your food you should stop. Most prepared foods and even the ones we get from the grocery store already have sodium in them. There is no reason to add extra sodium to our foods. If the food tastes bland to you, then add pepper or potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is a salt substitute. There are also salt substitutes made with other herb and spices available in the spice aisle at your local grocery store.
If you purchase canned vegetables, you should switch to the ones that contain no sodium. Better yet, is to purchase fresh or frozen vegetables. Both fresh and frozen vegetables have no sodium. Rather than purchasing canned fruits in heavy syrups, you should go for either fresh or frozen fruits.
Most dairy products contain sodium. There are options such as no salt butter and margarines. With milk, check the sodium level on the nutritional label and go for 1% or fat free. Soy milk is available as a substitute and comes in low sodium options. Cheeses are available that are made from 2% and 1% milk fat instead of whole milk.
One of the worst products that contain tons of sodium are frozen meals. Even the ones that are labeled as healthy, lean or low fat contain high levels of sodium. So avoid these meals when you have hypertension. The next time you are at the grocery store look at the nutritional labels on your favorite frozen meals. You will be shocked by the amount of salt added to these meals just to provide flavor.
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