Do you need to worry about how much salt you consume in your diet? It has been argued that only those who are “salt sensitive” need to be concerned about decreasing sodium/salt intake to lower blood pressure.
A study published online in Circulation researched how a high sodium diet may lead to hypertension. The study followed over 5000 participants from the Dutch PREVEND study for close to six and a half years. All participants did not have high blood pressure when the study began.
Researchers found high sodium intake to increase serum uric acid and urine albumin excretion. Increases in serum uric acid and urine albumin are two markers of endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels and a dysfunction is an imbalance of the substances that act on the endothelium leading to vasodilation and vasoconstriction.
As serum uric acid secretion increases, risk of developing hypertension increases. Researches found the same to occur as urinary albumin levels increased. The increased risk of hypertension with increased levels of sodium intake was only seen in participants with markers of endothelial dysfunction.
Studies have shown that consuming high levels of sodium for short periods of time to be associated with endothelial dysfunction. Researchers believe that repeat incidences of high sodium intake in the long term may explain rises in blood pressure connected to high sodium diets.
Even if you are not considered to be “salt sensitive” the results of this study indicate long term high sodium intake can increase hypertension risk by impacting endothelial function. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure it is still important to avoid a high sodium diet as a means of prevention.
Ten foods have been identified as contributing over 40% of the sodium in a majority of diets.
- Cheeseburgers and other sandwiches
- Deli lunch meats
- Breads and rolls
- Pasta mixed dishes
- Meat mixed dishes
- Snack foods (i.e. pretzels, potato chips, & popcorn)
How often do you consume the foods in this list? Do you need to cut back? To learn more review a previous update titled “5 Surprising Sources of Sodium”.
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