The real culprit behind high blood pressure (Hint: it’s not salt)


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The real culprit behind high blood pressure (Hint: it’s not salt)


As of this writing, an incredible, unprecedented 116 million American adults have high blood pressure (hypertension).

That’s just a hair shy of 50 percent of us!

Out of those 116 million, only about 29 million (1 out of 4) have it under control.

Note that the hypertension population got a big “boost” back in 2017 when the high blood pressure threshold was changed from 140/90 down to 130/80.  When that occurred, the percentage of American adults with hypertension jumped from 32 percent under the old guidelines up to nearly 46 percent!

I’m sure it was raining money at Pfizer that day.

Although the number of people with high blood pressure continues to grow, the typical medical treatment and recommendations have barely evolved.

You’ll still be told to watch your salt intake (i.e.: the DASH diet) and possibly get a prescription for medication.

But tell me, if this approach works so well, why are the numbers going up and not down?

And why do only 1 in 4 people with high blood pressure have it under control?

Could it be that it’s not just about salt?

Let’s take a closer look. 

Salt – is it the culprit behind high blood pressure?

It’s true that salt can cause your body to retain water, which can increase your blood volume and drive up your blood pressure.  That’s why most doctors recommend a low salt diet.

But salt is also a necessary electrolyte that actually helps normalize your blood pressure and stabilize irregular heartbeat too!

It also helps extract excess acidity from the cells in your body (especially your brain cells); it helps balance blood sugar levels (important for diabetics); it’s vital for your nerve cells to communicate; it assists with nutrient absorption; it’s a natural antihistamine; it supports your bone strength and prevents muscle cramps.

So clearly, it’s not the devil it’s been made out to be and you don’t need to throw away your kitchen salt shaker!

Where people run into salt problems is when your diet is high in processed foods and fast foods, both of which are INUNDATED with salt—far more than you would get from your kitchen shaker.

So the moral of the story here is eat real food and stay away from the packaged junk and the drive thru.  When you do that, you can season your foods with a little sprinkle of salt—preferably sea salt—and not have to worry about getting too much.

Don’t forget about potassium!

Although you rarely hear about it, just as much of a concern as too much salt is too little potassium!

Sodium and potassium work together in the “sodium-potassium pump” which creates electrical charges in your cells that control your muscles, organs and bodily functions.  These electrical charges also regulate the calcium levels in your cells. 

But when you have too little potassium, that causes elevated calcium levels, which in turn makes the smooth muscle cells in your arteries contract, raising your blood pressure.

So be sure to incorporate some potassium-rich foods into your whole foods diet such as avocados, Swiss chard, green beans, broccoli, coconut, prunes, lima beans, tomatoes, spinach, bananas, sweet potatoes, chicken, roast beef and salmon.

Now for the REAL culprit

Even though salt has gotten a bad rap over the last several decades, the deadliest culprit behind blood pressure problems is SUGAR!

First of all, sugar leads to obesity, which is a high blood pressure risk factor in and of itself.

In addition, massive amounts of glucose in your bloodstream from a diet high in sugar and refined carbs (which turn to sugar upon digestion) stirs up arterial inflammation which in turn raises your blood pressure. 

Our ancestors used to eat a couple pounds of sugar in a year, mainly from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. 

Now?  The average person takes in 152 pounds a year!

And similar to salt, most of that sugar is not coming from your countertop sugar bowl.

Instead it’s coming from good old processed foods and soda.

Especially dangerous is the high fructose corn syrup found in soda and practically every type of processed food imaginable, including ketchup, salad dressings, granola bars, ice cream, pickle relish, breads, snack chips, sports drinks, cereals and even cough medicines.

Research has shown that consuming more than 74 grams of fructose per day results in a 77 percent increased risk of blood pressure above 160/100 mm Hg. 

Note that you’d easily get 74 grams of HFCS from just two cans of soda a day, and heaven knows many people drink far more than that!

So this is another reason to eat real foods and more importantly, ditch the soda.

Other ways to help lower blood pressure

Here are 4 other very effective ways to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range:

Get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids

Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been proven to lower blood pressure and increasing numbers of doctors are advising their patients to up their Omega-3 intake.

One of the best ways to engage this natural anti-inflammatory and help lower blood pressure is to take a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement like VitalMega-3.

VitalMega-3 provides a whopping 1,200 mg of inflammation-taming Omega-3 essential fatty acids in every 2-capsule dose, including the EPA and DHA fats that are crucial to brain and heart health.

Squeeze in some exercise

Regular exercise has been shown in countless studies to help lower blood pressure.

Now, you don’t need to get fancy or join a gym!  You can walk in your neighborhood or on a treadmill, join a class, or use DVDs in your home. 

Just be sure get your doctor’s OK first—I’m sure he or she will be thrilled.

Get enough vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with high blood pressure and it’s easy to see why.  Vitamin D has inflammation-fighting properties, and since inflammation is a driving force behind high blood pressure, without vitamin D’s protection, you may be more prone to arterial inflammation and increases in blood pressure. 

You can help make sure you have enough vitamin D by getting brief unprotected sun exposure (20 minutes) each day and supplementing with a top-quality formula like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B

Optimum DK Formula provides a therapeutic 5,000 IU dose of vitamin D3, plus its partner vitamins K1 and K2 and the mineral boron.

All of these nutrients work together synergistically to support strong cardiovascular health, as well as immune and bone health too!

Reduce stress

Stress and hypertension go hand in hand, so do whatever you need to do to reduce stress in your life.

Regular exercise is a natural stress reducer as well as a great way to lower blood pressure, so that’s another good reason to dust off those sneakers.

Also, consider adopting a pet if you are an animal lover. 

In addition to helping reduce stress, a review of studies published in Circulation showed that having a pet—especially a dog or a cat—improves cardiovascular health!  And some of the studies have found a specific connection between pet ownership and lower blood pressure.

Now you know the real truth about high blood pressure, and how to keep yours where it needs to be!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

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    Isabella Lucas on

  • Thanks for the advice. I do agree with salt as the cause of high BP. I have been taking salted nuts a lot. I will try to eliminate salt as much as I can.
    Thanks for the advice

    Irene Masawi on

  • This is great helpful information! I do not have high blood pressure.


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