‘Sodium Salt’, Number One Enemy of Health, a Cause of High Blood Pressure

Do you know that, apart from taking medicines to lower blood pressure, patients with high blood pressure should limit their consumption of salty foods, which is also another essential way to control blood pressure, which should be emphasized on because to consume salt in too much an amount can cause body to lose water balance and absorb water into blood vessels, which eventually leads to high blood pressure? In 2019, Thai Hypertension Society and American Heart Association (AHA) of the USA have suggested that patients with high blood pressure should reduce the amount of intake Sodium to no more than 1.5 grams per day in the consistent manner, which will reduce the blood pressure for 5 mmHg (the 5 mmHg blood pressure decrease can reduce the chance to have heart diseases, paralysis and paresis for 10 – 15% and the chance of death for 7%!!)

As for Thai people whose daily life is exposed to salty foods in general, to control the intake Sodium to no more than 1.5 grams per day means to avoid all seasoning ingredients such as salt, fish sauce, soy sauce or MSG. (Sodium in the amount of 1.5 grams is equivalent to 3/4 teaspoon (3.5 grams) of salt (Sodium Chloride), or 2 – 3 teaspoons of fish sauce/soy sauce or 3 teaspoon of MSG.) Thus, to use low Sodium seasoning ingredients for cooking and eating is a healthier solution that leads to the achievement of the control of salt consumption.

FoodSodium (Milligram) per Serving
Rice noodle stir-fried with black soy sauce2,589
Spicy green papaya salad2,190
Rice noodle in brown soup1,155
Fried rice with shrimp paste1,095
Rice noodle in pink soup1,076
Rice topped with stewed pork knuckle988
Rice topped with chicken stir-fried in basil sauce972
Rice vermicelli topped with curry 956
Rice topped with BBQ pork and red sauce852
Pork and egg fried rice744
Dry noodle with BBQ pork675
Rice noodle topped with pork and brown gravy660

Table of Amount of Sodium in Single Dished Foods Popular for Thai People

Furthermore, there are some foods that contain high Sodium but are not salty. The Sodium in such food is called ‘Hidden Sodium’. If we consume such foods, we will consume Sodium unknowingly. Hidden Sodium can be found in foods in the following categories.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a non-salty seasoning product that contains Sodium for around 15%. Almost all the frozen foods in the market contain MSG which makes them more delicious.

Processed Foods and Preserved Foods, such as all kinds of canned foods, fermented foods, dried foods and processed meats such as sausages, Vietnamese sausages, shredded pork, sour sausages and Thai (I-san) sausages, contain salt or preservatives that are composed of a great amount of Sodium.

Semi-instant Foods such as instant noodles, congee, rice porridge and soup cubes and powder.

Foods that contain baking powder, such as cake, cookies, pancake, doughnuts, bread, Chinese deep fried bun and Chinese steamed bun, the baking powder in which contains Sodium (Sodium bicarbonate). Also, instant cake powder contains baking powder.

Since we have known the sources of Sodium we consume, to limit the consumption of salty foods is no more an ordeal thing to do. All we need is discipline in eating in order to sustain good health and to reduce the chances of having complications from high blood pressure that is uncontrollable.