Why your "low-salt diet" failed
Don't toss out your salt shaker just yet!
Your doc will look you in the eye and tell you that it's time. He'll say that your blood pressure is not only too high, but that it's been high for a while.
This is your last chance to bring it down and avoid drugs... or, if you're already on those meds, he might want to switch you to more powerful new drugs and higher doses.
You know what you have to do. You know you need to cut back on your salt -- but while you certainly SHOULD make an effort to bring your sodium intake under control, new research shows how all the salt in your kitchen won't make much of a difference.
Odds are, the salt that's in your shaker is only a tiny portion of your daily sodium intake.
The new study finds that most Americans get just 5 percent of their salt from the shaker and another 6 percent from adding it to their meals while cooking, while another 14 percent is the stuff found naturally in many foods.
The rest of it -- a whopping 80 PERCENT -- comes from prepared foods.
It's the sodium found in restaurant meals, take-out and fast food, as well as premade dishes you might buy for convenience at the supermarket... whether it's a rotisserie chicken or a frozen dinner.
Plenty of sodium can also be found in sauces, syrups, marinades, and mixes.
It's even found in high levels in everything from breads to pancake mix.
Yes, pancake mix!
Put it all together and THAT salt -- not the stuff you sprinkle on your foods yourself for a little flavor -- is the REAL reason many Americans are getting DOUBLE and even TRIPLE the recommended limit.
The key is obvious: Get back to eating fresh foods. Eat the way grandma did.
She made her foods from scratch, right?
She probably didn't even use a measuring spoon. A sprinkle of this, a dash of that and she whipped up fresh meals better than anything you'd get at a restaurant.
Cook your own fresh foods from scratch like her and add a little salt to taste
-- but don't stop there. Blood pressure control is about more than rushing from one extreme to the other with your sodium levels.
It's about balance, especially keeping a good ratio of salt and potassium. As you bring your sodium intake down and boost your potassium, you'll find your BP levels will often come under control quickly and effectively without the need for meds.
And since you'll be eating better and healthier foods, you'll also drop a couple of pounds and cut your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more.