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High Blood Pressure, Salt and Processed Foods

It is very important to reduce your intake of salt whether you have high blood pressure or not.

Certainly if you have high blood pressure reducing salt in your diet will reduce your blood pressure and the risks of you having a heart attack or stroke,

One of the ways to reduce salt in your diet is to closely examine the labels on processed foods when shopping.

A very high proportion of the salt in our diet comes from processed foods, even foods that we don't think are high in salt.

This is a list of processed foods both tinned and packaged. They are foods that have become an integral part of our shopping list and our daily intake of salt :

v Baked Beans - Snacks such as crisps and peanuts

v Tinned and packet soups - fast foods such as Indian and Chinese takeaways - packaged noodles

v Bread and sandwiches - Salted, tinned and smoked fishTomato Pizza will have a high salt content

v Breakfast cereals - Biscuits - cakes and crackers

v Cheese - Meat products like bacon, sausages - tinned meat

v Ready-made meals - pizzas - pasta dishes - curry - marmite

You may find it very difficult to eliminate these foods from your shopping list altogether so look at the labels for products with a low-salt content.

The information and figures produced below are taken from guidelines published by the Blood Pressure Association (UK)

Sometimes sodium is listed on food labels instead of salt. Sodium is one part of salt [sodium chloride]. So, if the label lists sodium, to work out the amount of salt from the sodium content you should multiply it by 2.5 ( since 1g of sodium = 2.5g of salt ). If this sounds a little complicated use the following table as a guide:





Less than 0.25g salt (0.1g of sodium) per 100 grams


Between 0.25g salt (0.1g sodium) and 1.25g salt (0.5g sodium) per 100 grams

More than 1.25g salt (0.5g sodium) per 100 grams


Foods that contain:

Low amounts of salt are the best choice – you can eat lots of these

Moderate amounts of salt should only be eaten occasionally and in small amounts

High amounts of salt are best avoided

British Pressure Association (UK)

Practical eg. Well known food processor of tinned tuna chunks in Sunflower Oil – Sodium 0.3g per 100grams.





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Research material about high blood pressure - salt provided by K. Standerline, State Registered Nurse. UK

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