The Surprising Relationship between Umami, Salt, and High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure: “The Silent Killer”
Usually, when you show up for a doctor’s appointment, one of the first thing that happens is that somebody puts a blood pressure cuff on your arm, puffs it up, and makes a note on your chart. If you’re lucky—and healthy—that’s the only time you have to think about your blood pressure. For many others, the doctor might tell you your blood pressure is a little high, and that you should watch what you eat or exercise more.
Checking blood pressure is so normal that it’s easy to take for granted. But actually, having high blood pressure—in medical terms, “hypertension”—is actually very dangerous. In fact, according to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, roughly half of people with untreated hypertension will die of heart disease related to poor blood flow, such as heart attack and another third can be expected to die due to stroke1. Furthermore, high blood pressure itself has no noticeable symptoms—and of course, this is why the doctor checks it every chance he or she gets.
Despite our knowledge of the danger of hypertension, and our ability to keep it under control through diet and exercise and a wide variety of effective medications, hypertension is on the rise in countries throughout the world. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the prevalence of hypertension among adults at least 18 years of age was 20% for females, and 24% for males2. And worse still, hypertension is estimated to account for 9.4 million deaths worldwide every year3. That’s 13% of all deaths of any cause4!