Sodium, which is a mineral found in salt, can have a negative effect on blood pressure. When you consume too much sodium, your body retains water to help dilute the excess sodium in your bloodstream. This can increase the amount of fluid in your blood vessels, leading to an increase in blood pressure. Over time, this can put a strain on the heart and blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults aim for a sodium intake of no more than 2,300 milligrams per day, and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day for most adults, particularly those with high blood pressure.
Foods that are high in sodium include processed foods, such as canned soups, frozen meals, and snack foods, as well as fast food and restaurant meals. To reduce your sodium intake, focus on eating fresh, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. You can also try using herbs and spices to flavor your food instead of salt, and avoid adding salt to your food at the table. By reducing your sodium intake, you can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.