There is some evidence that being overweight and not getting enough exercise contribute to high blood pressure, but there is far more evidence linking salt intake to hypertension and the age-related increase in blood pressure.
Ready meals, processed meats like bacon, ham, and salami, cheese, salty snack foods, and quick noodles, among others, can all contribute to dietary salt intake, either because they are particularly rich in salt or because they are taken frequently and in significant quantities (such as bread and processed cereal products). Cooking with salt (bouillon, stock cubes) or adding salt to taste at the table are two other common ways to incorporate salt into meals (soy sauce, fish sauce and table salt).
Several of the ways in which salt intake is linked to hypertension are explored here. All information in this post comes from the trustworthy Mayo Clinic.
Implications of a High-Salt Diet on Hypertension
Too much salt is bad for the brain.
The risk of stroke and dementia is raised, and artery damage is further exacerbated, when too much salt is consumed. The brainstem, which controls blood pressure and salt balance, may be affected.
Symptoms of fluid retention
Healthline states that hypertension people may have more swelling and bloating than usual if they consume more salt than is recommended. The kidneys do this because they want to keep a steady ratio of salt to water in your blood. So that they can make up for the excess sodium you consumed, they retain more water.
Swelling, especially of the hands and feet, may arise from this abnormally high level of water retention.
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