Blood Pressure Control
Stabilizing The Numbers For
Better Future Health
Good blood pressure control for the diabetic can help to reduce your risks of many other conditions. Expect lower incidences of:
Therefore maintaining a reading below 130/80 is the objective by medical standards currently in practice for good diabetic health.
How Does Sodium Intake Pertain To Blood Pressure Control
High salt levels
in your system automatically raises your blood pressure
. So if you already lean towards high blood pressure or it runs in your family, it will now be even harder to control the symptoms.
Another qualifying factor which many people, and doctors alike fail to realize, high blood pressure can and does actually get aggravated if your sodium to potassium levels are off. These two ratios must be regulated together as a set or else your internal cell membrane activity such as nerve transmission and fluid retention are completely out of whack.
Second, high salt levels result in a loss of calcium being flushed out of your system. This condition then contributes to an increased risk of bone loss in your body over time.
The easiest way to control all of this downslide and to lower your blood pressure readings - reduce your daily intake of salt from the foods that you eat while you maintain satisfactory potassium levels. The ideal ratio, we need five times more potassium than sodium on a daily basis. Compliments of the fast food industry and processed foods though, currently most people get the opposite.
Do I Then Need Salt In My Diet?
Many people question if salt creates so many problems, why can I not just eliminate it from my diet
The truth is, salt is a necessary component for the human body to fulfill its basic functions. Therefore a person of normal health should strive for approximately 2400 mg per day. If a diabetic, the level to strive has been dropped to about 1500 mg. per day.
The easiest way to control your numbers, read the information on the nutrition label. Try to keep all of your selections at less than 400 mg per serving on the sodium line of the nutrition label.
What Foods Have The Highest Concentrations Of Salt
High salt concentrations can be hiding in some of the most unusual places. This is usually because manufacturers have realized people enjoy the taste of salt. For the individual worrying about blood pressure control, reading labels has become mandatory. Salt is now used so often as a flavor enhancer
or food preservative that confirming the sodium content before purchase
Check the label carefully for the following items before purchase because many manufacturers use a high concentration for the following products.
- table salt
- processed meats such as hot dogs, luncheon meat, sausage etc.
- convenience foods from fast food restaurants and packaged foods such as mac and cheese, canned vegetables, soups, gravies, bouillons and instant oatmeal
- frozen dinners, pot pies, and boxed side dishes such as spanish rice or au gratin potatoes
- preserved foods such as bacon or canadian bacon. Smoked meats also contain high sodium such as deli meats, ham or pork chops and many varieties of jarred pickles
- Baking soda and baking powder, store bought tomato juice, vegetable juice and buttermilk
One word of caution, especially for the diabetic. If you do consciously try to keep your potassium levels high from your sources of food (bananas, apricots, seedless raisins, cantaloupe, avocados beans and potatoes are all good sources), beware of the term on some spice containers and OTC medications saying salt substitutes, lite salt etc.. These versions have usually removed the sodium chloride and exchanged it with potassium chloride. A diabetic on medications therefore can now be getting too much potassium. You will generally retain excess potassium in the kidneys thus resulting in another form of trouble - which means another pill to flush the kidneys. A better option than a salt substitute is:
- a combination of garlic and/or onion powder( do not use salt. Garlic or onion salt is just table salt, flavored)
- fresh lemon squeeze or lemon zest
- herbs and spices in your favorite combinations
- salt-free blends such as Mrs. Dash or McCormick blends labelled salt-free
So, while blood pressure control is a silent condition, often you don't even realize there is a problem unless you visit your doctor, it is a stepping stone to some much greater future troubles. Make a few minor adjustments to your daily life now and much time, expense and trouble can be prevented down the road in years to come.
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This site is not intended to replace the advice and supervision of your professional medical treatment plan. Although all of the information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, we still recommend you carefully check all food labels before consuming any food product. We can not assume any legal responsibility for any illness obtained while following the advice contained on this site.