We get it. Sure makes the dishes even more delicious and savory. However, did you know that it comes at a cost? Did you know that your salt intake directly affects your blood pressure?

Salt actually pushes your body to retain water and if you have too much salt, the extra water stored in your body increases your blood pressure. Plainly put, the more salt you have runs the risk of raised blood pressure even further.

And that creates a chain effect: The higher your blood pressure, the greater the stress it places on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. And this can result in heart attacks, strokes, dementia and even kidney disease.

Additionally, taking more salt than you should can mitigate the effect of blood pressure medicines such as diuretics.

How to Cut Down on Salt

One of the best ways to lower your blood pressure is to eat less salt. But how much salt is actually too much? An adult should eat no more than 6g of salt a day, but in reality, most of us eat much more than this.

Most of the salt we have each day is hidden in plain sight. Roughly 80% of the salt we eat is found in processed foods such as bread, biscuits and breakfast cereals, and prepared ready meals or takeaways. Only 20% comes from the actual salt we add while cooking or at the table.

Here are some more tips that you can use every day:

  • Don’t be too wary about the exact amount of salt you eat. The goal is to lessen the amount of salt you eat as much as possible, and not to keep an exact tally of the amount you eat.
  • The best way is to try to always eat dishes with the lowest salt level.
  • Sure, food without salt can taste flavorless, but don’t give up that easily. After a few weeks, your taste buds will adjust and you will start to enjoy food with less salt.