Americans have a love affair with salty snacks. Nibbling on foods such as chips, crackers, deli meats and fries, has caused an epidemic of high blood pressure problems. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1500 mg. of salt is the ideal daily limit, but some people are consuming as much as 3400 mg.
Eating too much salt in menopause can cause hot flashes, palpitations, and may lead to dehydration. Here are five drug-free tips to control hypertension in menopause:
Limit Eating Out
Restaurants are notorious for adding too much salt, and since portions are larger, you can easily go over your daily limit. Cooking at home lets you keep an eye on portion size and either eliminate or reduce added salt.
Blood pressure monitors are inexpensive, and let you keep tabs on your blood pressure. You can adjust lifestyle changes if the numbers are too high, or call your doctor to deal with complications. Best of all, you can buy a blood pressure monitor without a prescription.
Keep a Food Diary
Write down everything that you eat in a week’s time. List each food, portion size, time of day, and why. Were you hungry or just stewing over a problem and used food to make you feel better?
Buy Low-Sodium Foods
Stores feature a wide variety of no or low-sodium foods. If you like cereal for breakfast, try shredded wheat, oatmeal, or muesli. Snack on unsalted popcorn, rice cakes, unsalted nuts, or plain breadsticks.
Use Juices and Spices for Flavor
For flavorful veggies and salads, use lemon juice or freshly-squeezed lime juice. I like sweet potatoes, which can be drizzled with lemon juice and black pepper before roasting. Make your own seasoning for meats by combining 1 tsp. of paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder.