Hypertension or elevated blood pressure (BP), namely Systolic BP ≥ 140 and/or Diastolic BP ≥ 90 mmHg has been identified as one of the major risk factors for CHD, stroke and heart failure10.
High sodium (salt) intake, low potassium intake, high alcohol consumption, smoking and physical inactivity, as well as body weight gain may increase BP in susceptible subjects11.
Targeted lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone for the prevention of hypertension. Healthy diet and lifestyle changes are recommended in all patients with suboptimal and elevated BP and should always be advised for patients receiving BP-lowering drugs, as these may reduce the dose of BP-lowering drugs needed to achieve BP control3. The dietary intervention specific to hypertension is salt restriction. At best, advice should be given to avoid added salt and high-salt food next to advice to eat more fruits and vegetables and to reduce intake of saturated fat and cholesterol3.