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The measure on salt

salt measure

The doctor gives you that look, you know, the slightly concerned ‘You need to get a hold on this’ look that means you need to sort yourself out. This is an experience that many of us have been through with our GP when they tell us about our high blood pressure.

How much do you really know about high blood pressure and specifically, salt? We know that eating too much of this seasoning sensation is bad for us but what exactly is it doing to our body? We need a small amount of salt to create osmosis for the kidneys to function properly. However, with extra salt there can be an imbalance, forcing your body to hold more water than necessary and putting a strain on your kidneys.

The extra blood pressure caused by eating too much salt and therefore holding too much water puts a huge strain on the inside of the arteries. To cope with this, the tiny muscles that line arteries, thicken as they grow stronger which makes the space in the arteries smaller, therefore, raising your blood pressure further.

While the arteries are trying to deal with the increase in blood pressure, they narrow from the build-up of muscle and can become clogged entirely. As the arteries leading to the heart become more damaged, there can be a slight reduction in the amount of blood reaching the heart. This reduction can cause Angina, a sharp pain in the chest during physical activity.

If you do nothing to lower your salt intake then your arteries can become so clogged that they will eventually burst, resulting in a heart attack.

Now you know the damage that could be done, here are a few ideas on how you can cut down on salt in your diet.

Most of the salt we consume is in everyday foods such as cereal, bread, biscuits and ready meals. With this in mind, try to start switching up your shopping and becoming more conscious of what you’re buying. Check the label for sneaky added salt and when it comes to condiments such as Ketchup, choose the Low Salt options. Before you realise, you’ll have cut your salt intake dramatically just by being more aware of what you’re putting into your basket.

You can also cut salt in your cooking by replacing it as a seasoning ingredient with freshly ground black pepper. Surprisingly, pepper works just as well with a range of dishes including pasta, steak, and salads.

Private Health Insurance

Did you know that our most basic private health insurance cover, Essentials, will have you covered for the treatment for heart conditions? This means you can choose from a range of different hospitals to get the very best treatment and advice in the unfortunate circumstances that you need it.

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