People with hypertension should not take salt

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The Saying that people with hypertension should not take salt is a wrong message which probably got mutilated along the way, from the original one.

Granted that ‘essential hypertension’ (i.e. hypertension as a result of old age) has been linked to salt and water retention; however, there is no teaching that says a patient should not take salt at all because he or she has hypertension.

This is because salt is necessary for normal body functioning. How does somebody even eat well without salt in the food? Without salt, the body cells cannot function well.

What is rather advocated is ‘no added salt’. This is a different message; a clear one at that. This emphasizes the need to desist from adding extra salt to food, when an individual wants to eat, after cooking.

It is this extra / added salt that usually results in excess salt intake, which is a risk factor for hypertension. It also makes the control of hypertension difficult in those already affected.

This advice (of no added salt) is not only for those with hypertension but also for the general populace, as excess salt is not good for the body.

It leads to excess water retention, which markedly increases blood volume, as the body needs to dilute the salt to avoid injury to body cells. So, with time, excess water gets accumulated in the body in form of excess blood volume.

This excess blood volume is one pathway of development of hypertension as well as heart failure in the long run.   

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