Nutrition Expert: Sana Saiyed, Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator, Mumbai.
High blood pressure/ Hypertension is one of the third most important risk factors for contributing to the burden of disease in Asia. It is directly responsible for 57% of all stroke deaths and 24% of all coronary heart disease (CHD) deaths in India. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14730320/)
Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body. Hypertension is when blood pressure is too high.
Hypertension is diagnosed if, when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥90 mmHg. (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension)
Importance of electrolytes in Hypertension management.
Excessive salt intake exacerbates hypertension and further increases left-ventricular mass in clinical essential and experimental hypertension.
Potassium and sodium are electrolytes needed for the body to function normally and help maintain fluid and blood volume in the body.
There is a strong relationship between consuming too much sodium and having higher blood pressure. This means that, on average, the more sodium a person consumes, the higher their blood pressure will be. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29021321/)
The combination of consuming more sodium and having too little potassium in your diet is associated with higher blood pressure.
Increasing potassium intake can decrease blood pressure in adults with hypertension. (Sodium and Potassium Intake: Effects on Chronic Disease Outcomes and Risks)
How useful is substituting sodium?
Salt substitutes are reduced-sodium salt alternatives marketed as an opportunity to lower salt intake with a view to preventing and managing high blood pressure without impacting taste.
The sodium is replaced with other minerals—commonly 65% sodium chloride, 25% potassium chln addition to the health benefits associated with a reduction in sodium, higher intakes of potassium are associated with decreased blood pressure independent of sodium intakeride, and 10% magnesium sulfate. (https://www.jrnjournal.org/article/S1051-2276(08)00388-9/abstract)
In regions where most of the salt consumed is added during home cooking or at the table, or also from high salt sauces including fish sauce and soy sauce, and other condiments, salt substitute versions of table salt, sauces, or condiments could be made available as a way of both reducing sodium intake and increasing potassium consumption. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26201031/?dopt=Abstract)
The results from a systematic review and meta‐analysis of the effect of salt substitutes on blood pressure showed that salt substitutes are effective at lowering blood pressure; this demonstrates a potential opportunity to use salt substitutes to reduce population blood pressure.(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25411279/)
In addition to the health benefits associated with a reduction in sodium, higher intakes of potassium are associated with decreased blood pressure independent of sodium intake.
Some tips for adding taste to the bland dishes.
- Replace salt with rock salt, himalayan pink salt, or low sodium salt.
- Avoid eating bakery products like white bread, butter, khari, toast, biscuits, cake, pastry.
- Avoid eating fried foods like vada, bhaji, chakli, chiwda, farsan, samosas.
- Limit soft drinks and alcohol to once or twice a week.
- Avoid eating outside foods which are unhealthy like ragda pattice, pani puri, chinese, burgers.
- Substitute the usual chutneys with the recipes given below:
Low sodium chutneys recipe.
- Guava Chutney: Blend/ grind the below-given ingredients and the chutney is ready to use. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Guava- 10 grams
Green chillies- ¼ number
Mint leaves- few
Lime juice- ½ tsp
2. Pineapple chutney: Blend/ grind the below given ingredients and the chutney is ready to use. Store it in a airtight container and refrigerate.
Pineapple- 10 grams
Green chillies- ¼ number
Garlic- 1 flake (small)
Ginger- 1 small piece
Lime juice- ½ tsp
3. Date mayo spread:
Hung curd: 150 mg
Pureed date: 1 tbsp
Mustard powder: ¼ tsp
Pepper powder: ½ tsp
- Place curd in a mesanin cloth and let the water drain off the curd and use th curd.
- Put all the ingredients together and grind them.
- Store it in a airtight container and refrigerate. It can be served with thepla or khakhra.