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I had to have an outpatient surgical procedure done about 3 weeks ago. On the pre-surgical check, they told me I had high blood pressure. It was 157 over 100, but they told me to have it checked later because it could be high because of the surgery. A couple of days later, I stopped by the county medical center to have my blood pressure checked. It was still very close to the original reading.

The suggestion was to cut down on sodium. I did not believe I consumed a lot of sodium. I very seldom add salt to food, my wife says she did not believe she added much salt to food when she cooked.
This got us to to start looking into how much sodium was in processed food. I cannot eat foods with wheat, barley or rye in them, so I go home for lunch when I am working close to home.
Usually we have leftovers. If we do not have any leftovers, we have canned soup, cheese & crackers. Our grand kids have been at our house a lot lately, so there are not many leftovers to eat.
We had been eating lots of canned soup, crackers & cheese. What we discovered is that the canned soup, crackers & cheese I was eating for lunch contained close to a days recommended amount of sodium.

Because of the gluten thing & that my wife is a very good cook & loves to cook, we do not eat out very often. Unless I need to make several trips to town in a week to get materials. I mostly do that in the evenings, so I can get more work time on the job. So we eat out then.
I checked some of the nutrition guides for the places we like to eat at. The amount of sodium that is in restaurant food is unreal. I saw some items that had over 12,000mg. Most everything was over the FDA's daily recommended amount of 2600 mg of sodium.

I have cut down a lot on sodium intake. My blood pressure is decreasing.

While at the Medical Center, they suggested that I get my blood sugar checked. It was very high also.
My wife says she is going to have to completely relearn how to cook. She worked very hard to relearn cooking after I had to stop eating gluten.
 

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I had to have an outpatient surgical procedure done about 3 weeks ago. On the pre-surgical check, they told me I had high blood pressure. It was 157 over 100, but they told me to have it checked later because it could be high because of the surgery. A couple of days later, I stopped by the county medical center to have my blood pressure checked. It was still very close to the original reading.

The suggestion was to cut down on sodium. I did not believe I consumed a lot of sodium. I very seldom add salt to food, my wife says she did not believe she added much salt to food when she cooked.
This got us to to start looking into how much sodium was in processed food. I cannot eat foods with wheat, barley or rye in them, so I go home for lunch when I am working close to home.
Usually we have leftovers. If we do not have any leftovers, we have canned soup, cheese & crackers. Our grand kids have been at our house a lot lately, so there are not many leftovers to eat.
We had been eating lots of canned soup, crackers & cheese. What we discovered is that the canned soup, crackers & cheese I was eating for lunch contained close to a days recommended amount of sodium.

Because of the gluten thing & that my wife is a very good cook & loves to cook, we do not eat out very often. Unless I need to make several trips to town in a week to get materials. I mostly do that in the evenings, so I can get more work time on the job. So we eat out then.
I checked some of the nutrition guides for the places we like to eat at. The amount of sodium that is in restaurant food is unreal. I saw some items that had over 12,000mg. Most everything was over the FDA's daily recommended amount of 2600 mg of sodium.

I have cut down a lot on sodium intake. My blood pressure is decreasing.

While at the Medical Center, they suggested that I get my blood sugar checked. It was very high also.
My wife says she is going to have to completely relearn how to cook. She worked very hard to relearn cooking after I had to stop eating gluten.
So true, if you stop and read most canned stuff/processed food, you will find out the sodium is so high you have to wonder why? Longevity I guess. I used to like a nice bloody Mary on the weekends at breakfast (I know not cool) until the wife read how much sodium is in a can of supposedly good for you V8.. had to stop that when I had my high blood pressure even with the high potassium, Now she looks at everything before she buys.. Glad she is a great cook and doesn't need to rely on processed food. Even though I sometimes indulge. (Or I couldn't post on the sandwich thread)!
The gluten thing is really hard to deal with. I don't have that issue but have a friend that does, never goes out to eat, can't eat much of anything that we call goodies and is not much of a happy guy. I have an issue with bread according to my doctor (weight but not that heavy at all) and he insists I don't eat it, but I do cheat now and then.. Human nature has to be satisfied! I don't have sugar, and my blood pressure right now is normal for my age, 66, 138/68 most times. I do have a machine the hospital gave me to stay connected when I had an issue a couple years ago when my pressure was 195/110 because of dehydration that lasted months and I was on blood pressure meds, which I no longer need.
Good luck with your health and well being. Thank goodness you have a wife that will take the time to make sure you're healthy.. It is a lot of work. Shows she loves you! Mine is always watching what I eat and drink but I love her just the same!!!! Jeff
 

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Yup, wife and I both check most things we buy for sodium, cholesterol, saturated fat, high fructose corn syrup, among others. I have had slightly elevated cholesterol for many years and am on the smallest dose statin. You can argue whether the benefits of statins are good or bad, but there are some benefits of small doses. A few years back, my blood pressure started creeping up ... or rather the "normal" blood pressure started going down. 130/90 used to be marginal, now 120/80 became the new marginal. In any case, I fought using blood pressure meds for years until a blip on my EKG showed some kind of plaque build up somewhere. Now I'm on the lowest dose of blood pressure meds too. BTW, the "normal/recommended" cholesterol level creeped down too, when 200 total was OK, now it's down to 150 or so. We have to look at who establishes those normal numbers.

We kinda watch what we buy, but don't really limit too much, but if given a choice of brands, we'll choose the one with lower "bad stuff". It is funny that some foods labeled as "low sodium" just means it is lower than their regular stuff from the same manufacturer. An example is like regular sodium level may be 65 mg/serving, low sodium may be 60 mg/serving.

The reason I believe there is so much salt/sodium in processed foods ... salty food taste better to many and sells better than bland stuff.

No problem for us to eat healthier, we just don't go overboard when we cheat a little bit.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Also on low sodium diet. I can stay under 1200 mg a day pretty easily. Of course, that means no bread, no hot dogs, no barbecue, no fried chicken. Publix bakeries do have a no sodium-added white bread, but it has to be special ordered and is baked on site.

As a real test, I have tried to go zero sodium one day a week. I have done it, but that even means no tap water for drinking or for cooking. Our water supply is drawn from a sodium carbonate - rock aquifer which means the water itself has a high amount of sodium. So for sodium free days everthing that cooks in water, or even ice tea, is made using deionized bottled water.

I have noticed that when a processed food lists sodium as a percentage of the diet, they may use 2400 mg to calculate, so that the percentage is actually twice that for a 1200 mg per day low sodium diet.
 

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In any case, I fought using blood pressure meds for years until a blip on my EKG showed some kind of plaque build up somewhere. Now I'm on the lowest dose of blood pressure meds too. BTW, the "normal/recommended" cholesterol level creeped down too, when 200 total was OK, now it's down to 150 or so. We have to look at who establishes those normal numbers.

We kinda watch what we buy, but don't really limit too much, but if given a choice of brands, we'll choose the one with lower "bad stuff". It is funny that some foods labeled as "low sodium" just means it is lower than their regular stuff from the same manufacturer. An example is like regular sodium level may be 65 mg/serving, low sodium may be 60 mg/serving.

Just my 2 cents.
My brother-in-law has Menier's disease. Even a little excess sodium has him hugging the toilet. He's an expert in dietary sodium and inviting him for dinner is always tricky.

Just to clarify, EKGs won't show arterial plaque, but they can show electrical damage from muscle damage from an occlusion (heart attack) from an arterial plaque.

Normal total cholesterol level is still 200. Those who have trouble getting or keeping their total cholesterol, HDL, and VLD in normal ranges, even in on statins, should maybe consider a CT for calcium scoring and check with their doctors in the event that a different strategy in statin management might be a good idea.
 

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I am 69. I started needing a blood pressure med about 30 years ago. When I was 40, I weighed about 200 lbs. Over the next 15 years, I went up to 275. Countless attempts at losing weight failed. As ChrisR said, sodium is generally the first thing pointed at as a cause of high blood pressure. My wife stopped adding salt when she cooked and I stopped adding salt at the table. But, for the last 30 years, my BP stayed under control and unchanged with the use of the BP med, until last year.
Starting about 3-4 years ago, I started reading about sugar. I'm going to copy over information about sugar that I posted last year on FaceBook.
Harvard Medical School - "Too much sugar can be one of the greatest threats to cardiovascular disease."
Food for thought...sweet food that is...200 years ago, in the early 1800's, Americans ate 4 lbs +/- of sugar per year. In 1970, the average American ate 120 lbs of sugar per year. Now, we eat about 150 lbs per year. This is 3 lbs per week, 42 teaspoons per DAY! For every person who eats 5 lbs per year, there is someone who eats 295 lbs per year. Why am I, we, overweight and obese?
Did you know in addition to the price you pay for sugar in the store, part of your taxes goes to pay for sugar? The Federal Gov't spends $4+ billion per year in direct support to sugar producers.
We have 600,000 food items available. 80% of them have sugar in them. But, that does leave 120,000 to choose from. Like sodium, sugar is in virtually every processed food.
(You also pay part of your taxes for dairy products (heard of the Farm Bill?). Dairy producers produce more milk than consumers want, by a lot. So, the Feds buy the excess milk, and turn it into cheese. There is currently 1.4 billion lbs of cheese in government warehouses. I hate to see the family farms go away, but hard times have been experienced in many industries. Want a job in the auto industry, in Detroit? But I digress, that's another story.)
Fruit and vegetable growers receive no direct subsidies from the government.
Princeton University researchers have conducted studies on sugar. When lab rats were provided cocaine and sugar water for 15 days, 40 of the 43 rats went for the sugar water rather than cocaine. Sugar is highly addictive. They also found that, given the same amount of calories, lab rats provided with high fructose corn syrup gained more weight than those provided table sugar.
In the early '80's, in spite of the government's subsidies and import tariffs on sugar, Coca-Cola and Pepsi found a less costly alternative in high fructose corn syrup, processed from corn. From 1977 to 2001, soft drink consumption increased 135%, that's more than double.
Names for sugar in different forms you might find on food Nutrition Facts labels. (Have you noticed - fruit and vegetables don't have/need nutrition labels). All of the following have little or no nutritional value...they are "empty calories". Sugar, glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, sucrose, corn sweetener, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, sorbitol, molasses, sorghum syrup, honey.
Dr Mark Hyman is the Director of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine. (US News and World Report 2018-2019 ranks Cleveland Clinic as the 2nd best hospital in the country. Mayo Clinic is #1) He has written several books on sugar, food, and addiction. I read three of his books, plus one book on sugar by another offer.
From one of his books:
"Here’s the not-so-sweet truth. We are killings ourselves by consuming truckloads of hidden sugar.
Sugar is the New Fat
Despite 40 years of Americans being brainwashed into thinking that fat is bad, it turns out it’s sugar, not fat, that makes you sick and overweight.
The facts are in, the science is beyond question. Sugar in all its forms is the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most of the chronic disease sucking the life out of our citizens and our economy — and, increasingly, the rest of the world. You name it, it’s caused by sugar: heart disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even acne, infertility and impotence.
The average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar a year. That’s roughly 22 teaspoons every day for every person in America. And our kids consume about 34 teaspoons every day — that’s more than two 20-ounce sodas — making nearly one in four teenagers pre-diabetic or diabetic.
Flour is even worse than sugar. We consume about 146 pounds of flour a year. Think about it. That’s about one pound of sugar and flour combined every day for every man, woman and child in America. And flour raises blood sugar even more than table sugar. Even whole-wheat flour."
From me: "Think of food as medicine for your body. You can choose to take good medicine or bad medicine. AND, you can choose the dosage."
I buy almost all of our groceries. I always bought cookies, bars, pie, ice cream, sugared pop, and other sweets.
In late March of last year, I got up the gumption to break my addiction to sugar. I started eating a very low sugar, low carbohydrates diet.
Breakfast: a bowl of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Lunch: 2 eggs and some cheese. Supper: Beef, pork, chicken, or fish, with lots of vegetables. No potatoes or other carbs. I would have a cup of milk on the berries at breakfast, and only drink water the rest of the day. I use Atkins products for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. They are low sugar, low carb.
From what I had read, I knew I would not feel too good for a couple of weeks. I didn't feel very good, but it was tolerable.
My blood pressure, with med, had been running about 130/high 80's before the change in diet. After 4 weeks, with med, my BP didn't go above 120/80. I lost 40 lbs in 4 months. I had no trouble with cravings. Just after the 40 lb loss, I had to have my gallbladder removed. The weight loss stalled, but by September when I saw my doctor, my BP had dropped to about 110/70, with the med. My doctor decided I could try discontinuing the med. My BP slowly went up to the 130s/high 80s. But then with winter, I have put about 5-6 lbs back on, and my BP has gone to about 130s /low to mid 90s. So I am back on the med. I hope to renew the weight loss by getting back to a little more disciplined eating than I have been doing this winter. I still don't buy sweets, but I have been eating more calories. We'll see what happens.
John
 

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Interesting stuff here. I’m 50 and am working on a 140/90 BP. I been taking Losartan Potassium, but it gave me mood swings, so I stopped a couple days ago, and am going to doc tomorrow to try something else. Per the high stress job I have, I can’t take something that makes me lathargic. Any experiences with bp meds, and types you guys are taking and reviews will help. Btw, salt is a good antiseptic, and they might put that stuff in processed food to keep out the cooties.
 

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Just to clarify, EKGs won't show arterial plaque, but they can show electrical damage from muscle damage from an occlusion (heart attack) from an arterial plaque.
That is true, the EKG was the start of a battery of tests that showed a bit of plaque in my carotid. Luckily nothing to worry about, just something to watch. FYI, My calcium score turned out to be 4 (or was it 6), so not 0 (zero), but again, something to watch. BTW, my calcium score test was not covered by insurance, but it was only $100. It was worth it to find out what it was.
 

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Interesting stuff here. I’m 50 and am working on a 140/90 BP. I been taking Losartan Potassium, but it gave me mood swings, so I stopped a couple days ago, and am going to doc tomorrow to try something else. Per the high stress job I have, I can’t take something that makes me lathargic. Any experiences with bp meds, and types you guys are taking and reviews will help. Btw, salt is a good antiseptic, and they might put that stuff in processed food to keep out the cooties.
You might want to Google 'blood pressure meds'. There are several categories of these meds, and they work in different ways. ALL drugs have potential side effects. The effectiveness of a certain med and side effects experienced are different for any individuals. My older brother has been on a BP med, a generic that was less costly than the name brand I was on. At one point, I asked my doctor to try the med my brother was on, so I could save some money. It controlled my BP ok, but I developed the most common side effect of that med...a cough.
You will need to work with your doctor to find the right one for you.
BTW...I believe the main reason that salt and sugar are in all processed food is for flavor.
Best wishes
 

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I started buying low sodium chicken broth, with only has 60mg or so for a whole quart. Then I spike it up with No Salt which is potassium chloride. It takes a little getting used to, but the extra potassium helps eliminate the sodium from your system. I put some frozen spinach in the broth, and you have a nice lunch with only 20 or 30 calories!
 

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I am 69. I started needing a blood pressure med about 30 years ago. When I was 40, I weighed about 200 lbs.
Sounds like the way I was.
I now really believe, in most cases nowadays it is what we eat.
 

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My wife is having problems understanding that some sodium is OK & needed. She is trying to do meals with zero sodium.
I told her that all she needs to do is stop using a lot of processed foods & not add sodium to things when she cooks&. Then she can add salt later for herself & the grand kids. She went to the grocery today. She told me she did not buy any meat because it had sodium in it. I told her that some food naturally have sodium in them. I believe she is now starting to understand.
 

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I had to have an outpatient surgical procedure done about 3 weeks ago. On the pre-surgical check, they told me I had high blood pressure. It was 157 over 100, but they told me to have it checked later because it could be high because of the surgery. A couple of days later, I stopped by the county medical center to have my blood pressure checked. It was still very close to the original reading.

The suggestion was to cut down on sodium. I did not believe I consumed a lot of sodium. I very seldom add salt to food, my wife says she did not believe she added much salt to food when she cooked.
This got us to to start looking into how much sodium was in processed food. I cannot eat foods with wheat, barley or rye in them, so I go home for lunch when I am working close to home.
Usually we have leftovers. If we do not have any leftovers, we have canned soup, cheese & crackers. Our grand kids have been at our house a lot lately, so there are not many leftovers to eat.
We had been eating lots of canned soup, crackers & cheese. What we discovered is that the canned soup, crackers & cheese I was eating for lunch contained close to a days recommended amount of sodium.

Because of the gluten thing & that my wife is a very good cook & loves to cook, we do not eat out very often. Unless I need to make several trips to town in a week to get materials. I mostly do that in the evenings, so I can get more work time on the job. So we eat out then.
I checked some of the nutrition guides for the places we like to eat at. The amount of sodium that is in restaurant food is unreal. I saw some items that had over 12,000mg. Most everything was over the FDA's daily recommended amount of 2600 mg of sodium.

I have cut down a lot on sodium intake. My blood pressure is decreasing.

While at the Medical Center, they suggested that I get my blood sugar checked. It was very high also.
My wife says she is going to have to completely relearn how to cook. She worked very hard to relearn cooking after I had to stop eating gluten.
All processed foods have added salts. Unless you only buy fresh produce and unpackaged meats make your own bread no cheeses unless you make them cause they all have salt added. I took all salt out of my diet buy never using any packaged foods grinding my own flour naturally fermenting pickles olives sauerkraut. I do use a tiny amount of salt in my kraut and olives. For breakfast it is my uncured bacon eggs organic potatoes i grind uo to make hash browns or maybe oatmeal plain just add hot water. Pancakes are made from sprouted wheat flour and flax seed flour both of which i grind jsut before i make them with baking powder. As a result my bp has gone down to normal and my wife a diabetic has normal blood sugar and no longer needs to take any pills. My wife burns water when she boils it she dosent cook and only eats what i cook I cook things for her to take to work.
Any product in a packagfe or box is likely to have added salkts of one kind or another to stop clumping and make it easier for the packer to pack them. I started to get serious about clean food over twenty years ago when my heart started doing flip flops and the docs said there was nothing wrong with me and getting more picky food wise each passing day. Many packaged foods also have silica componds added also to make them easier to process into packaged, what i call pseudo food.

Rule number one for you is if it comes in a box or package leave it in the store. Butter is ok to buy, unsalted of course. All cheeses even cottage cheese have tons of salt added. Store boguth bread will also have salt as most baked goods unless you make them with your home made ingredients.
 

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Processed or packaged foods all have their sodium content listed on the package. Other food you buy in bulk like fruits and vegetables have sodium content that's easy to calculate on the internet. Should be easy enough to track, and keep your intake under about 2 grams. If your blood pressure is still high on a 2-gram sodium diet, time to chat with your doctor about your meds.
 

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Processed or packaged foods all have their sodium content listed on the package. Other food you buy in bulk like fruits and vegetables have sodium content that's easy to calculate on the internet. Should be easy enough to track, and keep your intake under about 2 grams. If your blood pressure is still high on a 2-gram sodium diet, time to chat with your doctor about your meds.
Just don't buy packaged foods, buy fresh your body will thank you for it. Often salt is disguised or naturally occuring like in Braggs ammino's which is made like soy sauce so is not on the label. Sodium stearoyl used in baking mixes the list goes on and on. Why bother with that crap just make your own caKe and muffin pancake mixes. Takes maybe five minutes more than opening a package of chemicals to bake and put in your body. Small price to pay for healthy food
 
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