Skip to content

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Select An Article

5 Tips on Reducing Salt Intake

    Font Size

    Cutting down on salt may help lower your blood pressure. And most Americans need to cut back, because they get more sodium than they should.

    The American Heart Association recommends getting less than 2,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day, unless you have high blood pressure or if you are at risk (if you already have hypertension, have diabetes or kidney disease or are African American). That's less than a teaspoon from all your meals and snacks.

    Recommended Related to Hypertension

    High Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction: Working With Your Doctor

    If you have high blood pressure (or hypertension) and are having problems with erectile dysfunction (ED), the first step toward a solution is to see your doctor. You may be a bit hesitant to discuss your sex life with a doctor, but rest assured your doctor has heard it all before and will know how to help you. Erectile dysfunction is fairly common. One study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that nearly half of men over 40 with high blood pressure have ED. Your doctor will...

    Read the High Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction: Working With Your Doctor article > >

    Start with these tips:

    • Break the habit of automatically reaching for your salt shaker. Table salt is about 40% sodium, according to the American Heart Association. So avoid adding salt to foods at the table.
    • Read the labels when shopping. Look for lower-sodium cereals, crackers, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, or any foods with low-salt options.
    • Eat fewer processed and packaged foods. Packaged, processed foods account for most of the sodium in people's diets. If you prepare your own food, you control what's in it.
    • At restaurants, ask about salt added to food. Many chefs will skip or cut back on salt if you ask.
    • If your restaurant posts the nutrition facts for its dishes, check how much sodium is in a serving. There may be lower-sodium options on the menu.

    If you need to use salt while cooking, add it at the end. You will need to add less.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on January 27, 2015
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    blood pressure
    Symptoms, causes, and more.
    headache
    Learn the causes.
     
    Compressed heart
    5 habits to change.
    Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
    Exercises that help.
     
    heart healthy living
    ARTICLE
    Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
    VIDEO
    Compressed heart
    Article
     
    Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Heart Foods Slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Low Blood Pressure
    VIDEO
     

    WebMD Special Sections