Louisiana’s Struggles With High Blood Pressure Could Change With This Huge Discovery
(KPEL News) - It's no secret that high blood pressure is a huge issue in Louisiana. As a matter of fact, our estimated percentage of citizens who struggle with it - 40% - is significantly higher than the rest of the United States (32%), according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the "silent killer." That's because it affects 1 in 3 adults worldwide and can lead to heart attack, heart failure, kidney damage, and stroke. That's according to a 2023 report by the World Health Organization. Hypertension has created a society dependent on pills to help control it as many of the foods we eat only make it worse.
In Louisiana, we love to eat some of the most delicious food in the world. The problem is, when part of a diet that includes processed foods eaten from all across the country, the richness of our food often does a number on our blood pressure.
Louisianans love salt in our foods, but salt often doesn't love us back! And, it's even hidden in just about everything! As everydayhealth.com shows, salt is hidden deli meats, breakfast cereal, and even canned vegetables!
How's this for perspective? A 10.5-oz. can of chicken noodle soup contains 2,225 mg of sodium. Considering that the latest US nutritional guidelines only recommend 2,300 milligrams and the American Heart Association recommends a diet with less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day, that can of soup would hit your entire daily allowance!
Well, a new study says if you cut 1 teaspoon of salt from your diet per day then you can lower your top blood pressure reading without taking the blood pressure pills. How much salt is in one teaspoon? 2,300 milligrams.
“This is the first study to show that people who are already on blood pressure medication can lower their blood pressure even more by limiting sodium,” said coprincipal investigator Norrina Allen, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, in this CNN article. "And regardless of medication, we found 70% to 75% of people are likely to see a reduction in their blood pressure if they lower the sodium in their diet,” Allen said.
Considering blood pressure medicine can have bad side effects including lack of energy, muscle pain, weight gain or loss, and much more, cutting a teaspoon of salt from your diet sounds like a much better option. You just have to find where to cut that salt out, of course.
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Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham