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How to Decrease Your Blood Pressure

How to Decrease Your Blood Pressure

You might have heard that your blood pressure is linked to your salt intake. Cutting back on salt (sodium intake) is an easy way to decrease your blood pressure. 

Blood Pressure

Why is this happening?

This is because your blood pressure is tightly regulated by your kidneys. As you consume more sodium, your kidneys pull that sodium and water with it into your blood stream. Your blood pressure can come back down by eating less sodium, but many people complain that food is less palatable! 

Slat alternatives

Here’s where salt alternatives come in. Salt alternatives are often made of Potassium chloride. Potassium doesn’t act the same way in your kidneys and can provide some of the same flavor while preventing water retention. Unfortunately, using an alternative that is 100% potassium chloride alternative often results in food having a “metallic” aftertaste. Sinopoli et al studied this, and found that a mixture of regular salt and salt alternative was the right balance. [1]

Salt

There’s many salt alternatives out there, but a 50/50 strikes the right balance of blood pressure control and flavor profile. So how much can you impact your blood pressure with this trick?   A study published in “Hypertension” found that while the average participant’s blood pressure was 151 (+/- 16) / 93 (+/- 7), after just 7 days on potassium chloride their pressure had dropped to 140 (+/- 12) / 88 (+/- 7). That’s an almost 10 point drop in a week! [2]  

Long term, there are even more benefits. The New England Journal of Medicine found that even in patients using 75% salt and 25% potassium chloride (salt alternative), the rates of stroke, major cardiovascular event (heart attack), and overall causes of death were lower [3]. This held true even in patients who had a history of heart problems, stroke, and high blood pressure. 

Other Options

If you find that you still don’t like the taste of potassium based salt alternatives, there are many other options to consider: MSG based substitutes can help in fried dishes, nutritional yeast in soups and stews. A seasoning mix based on onion and garlic powder can also provide the same taste without the sodium! 

Soup

Sinopoli, D. A., & Lawless, H. T. (2012). Taste properties of potassium chloride alone and in mixtures with sodium chloride using a check-all-that-apply method. Journal o