The Big Picture for Low Blood Pressure

Sure, cutting sodium out of your diet is historically the most recommended approach to lowering blood pressure. But, according to a recent roundtable of experts, one must look outside the box of eliminating sodium to achieve better results.

Experts agree that meeting government sodium intake recommendations (1,500 mg/d) is challenging, but necessary. It needs to be part of a holistic approach focusing on positive messaging and strategies for weight management, eating more fruits and vegetables, engaging in physical activity, and moderating alcohol intake to manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. IFIC (International Food Information Council) attitudinal research in 2009 and 2011 recently published in the journal Nutrition Today also revealed that consumers had a low level of awareness and concern about sodium intake.

“Our consumer research indicates that sodium reduction isn’t always the lifestyle change that consumers feel they can be most successful in achieving initially,” said article co-author Marianne Smith-Edge, MS, RD, FADA, the IFIC senior vice president for nutrition and food safety. “That’s why it is so critical to communicate more comprehensively about all factors known to positively affect blood pressure to give consumers the best opportunity for long-term success.”