salt intake in hypertension

Last reviewed 07/2022

A dietary sodium intake of less than 6gms daily or less is recommended as a non-pharmalogical intervention in the management of hypertension (1). This can be achieved by not adding salt to food when cooking or at table, and avoiding high salt convenience type foods and snacks.

If dietary sodium is reduced from 10g per day to 5 g per day then it would be expected that there would be an average reduction in blood pressure of 3 to 5 mmHg (3). Dietary sodium restriction can also increase the efficacy of certain classes of antihypertensive agents - especially ACE-inhibitors and probably beta-blockers (3).

Note that people who have been put onto a low sodium diet should be warned that food will appear to have reduced taste for about 4-6 weeks - however after this period their sense of taste will readjust and they will begin to taste food again (3).


  1. NICE (June 2006). Management of hypertension in adults in primary care.
  2. British Heart Foundation (3/99). Factfile - mild hypertension.
  3. Pulse (2003), 63 (2), 68.