Heart Health & Water Consumption
A Look at the Connection
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, People are considered in the first stages of high blood pressure if their systolic pressure reading is between 140 to 159 mm Hg. Given that 1 out of every 3 adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, chances are good that you or somebody you know has it, and may not even be aware of it.
Elevated cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), like high blood pressure can also increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Like high blood pressure, many people don’t know that their cholesterol levels are high. Because LDL cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, physicians focus on that number more than the total number when recommending cholesterol-lowering treatment. According to the National Institute of Health, optimal target LDL numbers can vary, depending on a person’s underlying risk of heart disease, but in general, an LDL level below 130 mg/dL is considered healthy. A study published in early 2015 concluded that for every 10 years a person has borderline-elevated cholesterol between the ages of 35 and 55, their risk of heart disease increases by nearly 40%. Many people are likely told to change their diets and lifestyle after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and/or elevated cholesterol, but water also plays an important role.
Water comprises 60-70% of the human body, and as such, it makes sense that it is vital to our health. While there is a proven connection between drinking adequate amounts of water and overall health, what about heart health? It is known that eating foods and liquids high in salt contributes to increased blood pressure, and not drinking enough fluids can result in dehydration and higher sodium levels in your bloodstream.
There is also a connection between water and healthy cholesterol levels. If an adequate amount of water is not consumed every day, organs including the kidneys cannot function properly. In order for the bloodstream to flow properly, adequate amounts of water are needed, in particular after meals when food nutrients are flowing to cells. Without adequate water, the body cannot properly remove excess cholesterol from arteries, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.
Water softeners and filters help reduce toxins in drinking water, but if the filters use salt, the process itself can actually unknowingly be contributing to a person’s sodium intake. If you are worried about too much sodium, the best bet is to consider a salt-free water softener system. This is the perfect solution for hard water problems without the use of salt or potassium. And while you will still have to put effort into preparing and eating healthier meals to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, your drinking water will not factor into the equation.