FROM OUR EXPERTS
Earlier this month (February 2012), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing that nine out of ten adults eat too much salt daily.
This excess salt is not the salt you are adding with the salt shaker. The high salt diet comes from processed foods and restaurant meals.
A diet high in sodium (salt) leads to high blood pressure. This equals an increased risk for developing heart disease and having a stroke.
According to CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden, heart disease and strokes are responsible for the deaths of more than 800,000 Americans annually and add approximately $273 BILLION dollars to health care costs.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend salt be limited to no more than 2300 milligrams per day. This recommendation may be even lower (no more than 1500 milligrams per day) depending on your ethnicity, age, and medical history.
The average adult in the U.S. consumes more than 3300 milligrams of salt each day.
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Blood is carried from the heart to all the body's tissues and organs in pipes, called arteries and veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of those pipes. The unit for measuring blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). In most people, hypertension , or high blood pressure , is defined as either: a systolic pressure consistently at 140 or higher or a diastolic pressure consistently at 90 or higher. In some groups, such as those with diabetes or kidney disease , a high blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 or higher or a diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 80 or higher. Each time the heart beats (about 60 to 70 times a minute at rest) it pumps blood out into the blood vessels. When the heart is pumping the blood, it is called systolic pressure. When the heart is relaxing in between beats, your blood pressure falls; this is the diastolic pressure. A normal blood pressure is less than 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic). If the...
Introduction High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is elevated pressure of the blood in the arteries. Hypertension results from two major factors, which can be present independently or together: The heart pumps blood with excessive force. The body's smaller blood vessels (known as the arterioles ) narrow, so that blood flow exerts more pressure against the vessels' walls. Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. The pressure is determined by the force and amount of blood pumped and the size and flexibility of the arteries. Although the body can tolerate increased blood pressure for months and even years, eventually the heart may enlarge (a condition called hypertrophy ), which is a major factor in heart failure .
Click the icon to see an image of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Such pressure can also injure blood vessels in the heart, kidneys, the brain, and the eyes. Two numbers are used to describe blood pressure: ...
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