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Im a GP – here are less obvious foods that could raise your blood pressure

Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure

Consuming salty foods disrupts the natural sodium balance in the body, said Dr Jarvis, a GP and LoSalt advisor.

Such an imbalance causes the body to retain more water, which can cause unnecessary strain on the blood vessels.

Dr Jarvis explained: “The excess fluid presses on the walls of your arteries, which carry blood from your heart around your body, leading to high blood pressure.

“High blood pressure can then lead to blockage of arteries which supply blood to your brain – in other words, to a stroke.”

There are many foods you may be eating that you might not realise contain a lot of salt.

READ MORE Pharmacist advises just a teaspoon of certain food daily to lower blood pressure

Up to 75 percent of the salt people consume comes from processed foods, such as:

  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Sandwich fillings
  • Soup.

Dr Jarvis said: “It is important that we track how much salt we are eating throughout the day.”

In the UK, people are recommended to consume a maximum of 6g of salt daily, however, an average Brit consumes around 8.5g daily, Dr Jarvis pointed out.

That’s 40 percent higher than the recommended daily intake, putting at lot of people at risk of a life-threatening stroke.

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“The Department of Health has estimated that if we all cut just one gram of salt from our diets, we could prevent over 4,000 premature deaths a year in England alone,” said Dr Jarvis.

Additional salty foods to be mindful of include:

  • Salami
  • Smoked fish
  • Deli meats
  • Sausages
  • Crisps
  • Salty nuts.

“But much of the salt we eat comes from less obvious sources,” cautioned Dr Jarvis.

These include:

  • Canned stews
  • Gravies
  • Soy sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Relishes
  • Pickles
  • Pizzas
  • Ready-made meals.

While sodium is an essential nutrient necessary for the maintenance of the transmission of nerve impulses, a sodium deficiency in the UK is unlikely.

People can cut down their salt intake by being mindful of what they eat and using reduced-sodium salts, such as LoSalt.

“Regular physical exercise and keeping your weight within healthy limits will help keep both your blood pressure and cholesterol under control,” said Dr Jarvis.

If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, you can get yours checked at your local pharmacy or doctor’s clinic.

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