Why Does Salt Raise Blood Pressure?
For a long time now, doctors have been afraid to mention the reason behind why salt raises blood pressure. They only want to deal with the fact that we should avoid salt and replace it with things like fresh vegetables and nuts.
But then the question has been asked, what actually is salt? Is it just plain table salt, or is it something more? Since so many people have different opinions about this, lets talk about it.
Salt is sodium chloride. This is a solid, which dissolves in water, dissolving as it does. In other words, it can be used for anything.
So, what exactly is table salt? It is made of potassium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, chloride of magnesium, and silicon dioxide. For more accurate analysis, some scientific analysis may be required. But rest assured, they are all present.
And these are all considered good enough for scientific standards. What we do not see is the substance called monosodium glutamate. But it certainly is there.
The actual substance in the food you eat is sodium, which is broken down to sodium and chloride by a process called hydrolysis. Sodium is a word we hear quite often, but what it really means is water. When our bodies need a certain amount of sodium, our kidneys, unlike table salt, add some of the sodium chloride into the blood to meet our needs.
As you can see, the only difference between table salt is that salt has an extra element called monosodium glutamate, which gives it the extra taste. As soon as we hear that name, we are liable to think that it tastes bad, and it is absolutely wrong.
Monosodium glutamate is a natural amino acid found in a wide variety of foods. There are about 100 different amino acids, so of course we will have some which are related to glutamate. It is used by our body to release a chemical reaction from the muscles, and it is a good one.
But as the name implies, it does not raise our blood pressure. Instead, it causes a rise in heart rate, which is not good for us, either.
In the past, doctors believed that if you ate a saltier diet, you would lose weight. Well, there is some truth in that, but the truth is, if you lose weight because of that, you are following the wrong steps. Instead, you should follow a low-salt diet, a diet low in sodium.
As I have said, table salt does not cause hypertension in people with normal blood pressure. All it can do is to give a saltier taste to food, and that is all. So next time you go to your favorite restaurant, remember to bring your own salt instead of buying them.