High blood pressure: ‘Avoid’ gravy as it can raise your levels

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often dubbed a “silent killer” because it raises your risk of severe health problems without warning. High blood pressure forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around the body and this extra effort can lead to a heart attack. And what you eat can play a crucial role in this process.

The charity shared that 99 percent of gravies would receive an “amber or red traffic light” for salt content.

The NHS explains that amber means “neither high nor low”, while red represents a high amount.

Although amber foods can be eaten most of the time, red foods should be cut down on.

In fact, Blood Pressure UK advises to “avoid” gravy due to its high salt levels.


Action on Salt looked at different types of leading gravy brands found in supermarkets, finding “unnecessary levels of hidden salt”.

Out of 135 gravies tested, 99 percent received either amber or red coloured labels.

Furthermore, 44 percent of gravies would also fail to meet the Department of Health’s suggested maximum target for meat extracts, the survey added.

The saltiest gravy was found to contain 1.66 grams of salt per 100 millilitres.

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While this amount won’t instantly send your blood pressure through the roof, it represents a chunk of your daily salt allowance.

In case you’re not aware, the NHS explains that adults shouldn’t have more than six grams of salt daily.

What’s more, the salt shaker sitting in your kitchen cupboard isn’t the only source of sodium in your diet.

Blood Pressure UK warns that foods you buy in supermarkets also contain hidden salt. One food plus another and your levels can quickly stack up.

Graham MacGregor, Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) Chairman said: “It is a scandal that there is still so much unnecessary salt in commonly used ingredients, when it is perfectly possible to make them with less.

“Manufacturers must start working towards the new salt targets immediately.

“For every one gram reduction in salt intake, we can prevent 12,000 heart attacks, strokes and heart failures, half of which would have been fatal.”

The good news is that there are some gravies that don’t contain jarring levels of salt.

By looking at the nutritional information, you could find low-salt alternatives that are better for your blood pressure.

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