High blood pressure: ‘High salt’ fish can cause dangerous increases in hypertension

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure at which blood circulates in the body is too high. If someone has high blood pressure for a prolonged period, it can lead to an increased risk of certain forms of heart disease such as stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. One of the main risk factors for heart disease in a person is the amount of exercise they do and the food they inject into their body. According to Blood Pressure UK (BPUK), certain types of fish may increase your risk of high blood pressure.

The reason is that some fish are high in salt. Salt is one of the main risk factors for high blood pressure and other forms of heart disease. The NHS recommended daily salt intake is around six grams.

Meanwhile, BPUK says examples of “high salt” fish include dried fish. Other foods include:
• Tomato ketchup
• Canned, bagged and chilled soups
• Beef, chicken and vegetable stock cubes
• Granules of sauce
• Soya sauce
• Mustard
• Pickles
• Curry powders
• Ready-to-use sandwiches
• Microwave and frozen meals
• Breaded chicken products
• Sausages
• Bacon
• Ham.

Staying away from high salt items can significantly reduce the risk of high blood pressure. BPUK recommends marinating “meat or fish in lemon or lime, or with yogurt or spices” as this “avoids having to add salt for flavor”.

While salt is used to add flavor and removing it can take it away, they reassure: “If the food tastes bland to begin with, don’t give up. After a few weeks, your taste buds will adjust and you’ll start to enjoy less salty foods, like switching to unsweetened tea.

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Meanwhile, a recent study has highlighted just how much of a difference reducing salt in the diet could make.

According to research published in the British Medical Journal Prevention & Health, a one-gram reduction in daily salt intake could prevent around nine million cases of stroke and heart disease in China alone.

China currently has one of the highest average daily salt intakes in the world at 11 grams, almost double the NHS limit, and is a country where heart disease accounts for 40% of all deaths.

Researchers have estimated that reducing salt intake by one gram could also save four million lives by 2030 due to its impact on overall health.


However, reducing one gram was just one of three different steps they suggested. The one gram target was the one they hoped to achieve within a year, while the second was set by the World Health Organization (WHO) which was looking for a 30% reduction in salt intake by 2025.

The aim is for average daily salt consumption to decrease by an average of just over three grams per day. Meanwhile, the third approach was to reduce salt intake to just five grams a day by 2030, a target set by the Chinese government.

Writing about the research, the team said: “The Chinese government’s ‘Healthy China 2030’ action plan includes nutritional recommendations to reduce salt, sugar and oil intake.

“This modeling study shows that salt reduction alone could bring enormous health benefits to the entire Chinese population.”

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The researchers added: “Our estimates rely on salt reductions to not only be achieved but also sustained over time, which can be a big challenge given the rapidly changing dietary patterns seen in China given its urbanization. fast.”

The authors say that while some of their goals may be easily achievable, reducing salt reduction nationwide will be a challenge given China’s sheer size.

They concluded: “The evidence for substantial benefits of salt reduction in China is consistent and compelling. Achieving and sustaining population salt reduction in China could prevent millions of unnecessary cardiovascular events and deaths. Given the sheer size of China’s population, it would also bring major global health benefits.

Worldwide, heart disease is the leading cause of death ahead of cancer and dementia. As a result, massive efforts are being made around the world to reduce rates of the disease.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is not a number, but a combination of two, diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart pumps blood.

Meanwhile, diastolic pressure is the pressure that the heart rests between beats. When blood pressure is measured, the highest number will always be systolic blood pressure. This will be above the diastolic measurement.

Healthy blood pressure readings vary from person to person, but on average healthy blood pressure is considered to be 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg.
High blood pressure, on the other hand, is considered to be 140/90 mmHg or higher. If it is at this threshold or more, treatment may be necessary to lower it.

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