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For a long time we’ve heard that having too much salt in our diets is a bad thing - and rightly so, as a high salt intake is a significant risk factor for stomach cancer as well as one of the most powerful influences on blood pressure - and with it your cardiovascular and dementia risks.

Sodium

Salt is made up of two substances – sodium and chlorine - and it’s the sodium that can affect your blood pressure. This is because the sodium you eat affects how much water your kidneys extract from your bl...

Your blood pressure figures are an indication of how much pressure your blood is exerting against the walls of your arteries.

Blood pressure is usually represented by two figures and they indicate the highest and lowest pressure the blood exerts during the heart beat cycle.

The higher figure is known as the systolic pressure – this is the peak force the blood exerts against the artery walls when the heart contracts and pushes the next pulse of blood out through your circulation.

The lower figure is...

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