Most People Can Lower Their Blood Pressure By Cutting Out 1 Teaspoon of Salt Each Day

Most People Can Lower Their Blood Pressure By Cutting Out 1 Teaspoon of Salt Each Day

Cutting out just one teaspoon of salt from your diet each day can significantly lower blood pressure as good as a first-line medication for hypertension, new research shows.

The news comes from a study published November 11 in JAMA, examining how dietary sodium intake impacts blood pressure in middle-aged and elderly adults, including those who don’t have high blood pressure and those already on antihypertensive medications.1

“We found that 70–75% of all people, regardless of whether they are already on blood pressure medications or not, are likely to see a reduction in their blood pressure if they lower the sodium in their diet,” co-principal investigator Norrina Allen, PhD, the Quentin D. Young Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a news release.

A single teaspoon of table salt has about 2,300 mg of sodium—the daily upper limit for sodium intake among people ages 14 and over, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. However, the average American consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium each day.2 The American Heart Association recommends a daily sodium intake much lower than both, at just 1,500 mg.3

The new study was designed to decrease sodium levels even lower than the AHA-recommended 1,500 mg, which may be difficult for many, but even lowering sodium intake by a little bit is beneficial—particularly because high blood pressure is the leading cause of death worldwide, said Allen.

“High blood pressure can lead to heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes, because it puts extra pressure on your arteries,” said Allen. “It affects the heart’s ability to work effectively and pump blood.”

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Read on to learn more about how reducing your salt intake can affect blood pressure—and how to easily remove some of the salt from your diet.


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