Salt restriction

Salt Restriction

Clinical studies have supported an important relationship between salt intake and hypertension. The chloride ion (present in salt) in conjugation of sodium ion raises the blood pressure. Due to this all patients of high blood pressure are, generally advised to restrict their salt intake.

Some people does not react to salt intake with an elevated blood pressure. This specific type of hypertension is known as salt-resistant hypertension. Salt sensitivity test is generally used to distinguish between salt sensitive and salt resistant people. Salt restriction is effective only for salt sensitive people.

Salt restriction can enhance the efficiency of oral drugs also.

Salt restriction diets can be of five forms depending on the severity of hypertension.

  • 4 g (1.5 tsp= 9 gms of salt) of sodium per day. Up to 1/2 tsp table salt is used and high sodium foods are limited.
  • 2 g ( 3/4 tsp= 4.5 gms of salt) of sodium per day. Table salt is not allowed and high sodium foods are eliminated.
  • 1 g ( (1/3 tsp=2.25 gms of salt) of sodium per day. Table salt is not allowed and high as well as moderate sodium foods are eliminated.
  • 500 mg (1/5 tsp=1.12 gms of salt) of sodium per day. Table salt is not allowed and high as well as moderate sodium foods are eliminated. This diet is not palatable and is used for short time periods.
  • 250 mg (1/10 tsp=.6 gms of salt) of sodium per day. Table salt is not allowed and high as well as moderate sodium foods are eliminated. This is an extreme diet and rarely used.

Diets which are very low in sodium content should be used with caution as low sodium diets can cause the depletion of sodium from body.

Sodium levels of various foods