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Dont blame collagen for your high blood pressure

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Love your salt?

You may need a wake-up call. Disease and bodily disorders have an uncomfortable habit of presenting themselves when you least expect them to.   You are human and when things go wrong you probably want to know why.

You also may want to blame something or somebody for their sudden appearance.  Your brain has a peculiar habit of not wanting to look at the past for causes but rather what is happening now. It is called immediacy.


Look in the Mirror?

Let’s explore. Lisa woke up with a headache that would not go away.  She was flushed and slightly confused.  Her local pharmacist  suggested a quick blood pressure check before she took a painkiller. To her surprise her blood pressure was soaring.  ‘How much salt are you eating’ asked the pharmacist who secretly knew Lisa’s habits?  A quick reflection on her morning and Lisa had the answer. She had just started taking collagen and that clearly was the cause she said because collagen (plucking that information from the air)contains sodium and there you have it. Look in the mirror Lisa!

Collagen  is known for building the body not destroying. It builds healthy blood vessels which can prevent high blood pressure. So look elsewhere Lisa.  The amount of sodium in collagen is tiny. Not so with your choices of processed food. Now for the bad news. Diseases or symptoms like soaring blood pressure do not appear out of nowhere. They can linger in the background for decades, waiting for a trigger or an annual examination to announce themselves

Back to Lisa and her lifestyle which you can be sure in this instance, plays a major role in her blood pressure. A lover of fizzy drinks, sugar, little exercise, and lots of packaged food which made her life easy – she and not the collagen was the cause.


Here is your wake-up call.

Lifestyle and packaged food are bedfellows in cardiovascular disease.  Let us sleuth your hidden sodium intake. It has to be limited to than 2000 mg per day. Here is the real culprit!



No Excuse.  Check your Salt Sources!

Did you know that most dietary sodium (over 70%) comes directly from eating packaged food? 

The lazy, modern,  housewife/husband syndrome chooses processed, or prepared foods to make life easier.

So, the next time you order from Mr. DeliveryNow remember that restaurants use copious amounts of salt because they are in the business of keeping food as fresh as possible. Salt is a preservative. and therefore, it used extensively in prepared foods. So, it is not from supplements and table salt you add to food when cooking.


Is Salt your Enemy or Your Friend?

Sure, you need salt but limited amounts per day.  Salt  has become an everyday processed food ingredient:  For curing meat, meat, baking, thickening, retaining moisture, enhancing flavour (including the flavour of other ingredients), and as a preservative. On the label (which I am sure you never look at) scan for the following:   monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium nitrite, and sodium benzoate.  See how sodium is prominent? They pile up with each product and contribute in accumulative amounts to the total intake of “sodium” listed on the Nutrition Facts label.

Grocery chains are in the business of long shelf life, so food does not go off and they don’t lose money. You are the end user. Your commercial demand leads to the drive of manufacturers to manufacture these products. They are a preferred purchase by stores who want the food to last.

Sodium, because it flavours food – causes us to eat more and even causes addictions. Therefore, it  can and certainly does contribute to weight gain and weight gain is connected to high blood pressure.

The damage to your cardiovascular system and kidneys could be permanent


Wake up. Here are your high salt sources

I bet you don’t read labels. Read this!

Labels usually confuse you because they describe the salt content per 100 ml or 100 mg. But if you snack on a pack of Vienna sausages, you are in deep trouble. Remember one Vienna can contain 2000 mg of salt.


Sodium and high blood pressure landmines

  • Frozen foods  and restaurant food including chips– ask for low sodium options
  • All Processed food including soups. Salt acts as a preservative and taste enhancer.
  • Bread: one slice contains up to 230 mg.
  • Pickled foods: Cucumber, gherkins, sauerkraut. 300 – 700 mg per serving
  • Chips, pretzels, crackers, and popcorn:  230 mg = 200 mg salt.
  • Cured meat: Polony, Vienna sausages, boerewors, salami, pork sausages and bacon
  • Dairy: milk, cheese, and yoghurt. Check the labels. Cheese can have 630 mg salt, per 100 mg slice.
  • Tinned foods:  baked beans, chickpeas, tomatoes. 1 can of tomatoes = 1230 mg of salt.
  • Medication contains salt: Sodium-containing medications included acetaminophen, (Panado, paracetamol, Tylenol), Vitamins, effervescent aspirin and magnesium, and soluble ibuprofen for pain; calcium carbonate (Alka-Seltzer) for acid indigestion; and metoclopramide plus aspirin for migraine.
  • Soft Drinks.  One can of soda water or cold drink contains 100 mg of salt,
  • Chips from a restaurant – (they are pre-packaged and prepared)
  • Pizza. One slice = 730 mg sodium
  • Scones, cakes, and catered dessert items, biscuits  and hot cross buns.
  • Quiches, pies, and savoury snacks all have high density salt content.
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck.
  • Burgers. McDonalds. KFC, Wimpy
  • Egg Dishes: Omlettes and toasted sandwiches
  • Bottled sauces and condiments including soya, Worcestershire, and Tomato Sauce
  • Wine:  118 ml of red wine contains 12 milligrams of sodium, while domestic whites have about 19 milligrams in the same serving. Imported.
  • Alcohol  consumption can raise blood pressure.
  • Toothpaste is another wakeup call:  Yes, toothpaste too should be on your watch list. A key ingredient in salt toothpaste is sodium chloride, aka table salt. It helps to remove stains from the teeth. Some salt toothpastes also contain baking soda, which is another type of salt (sodium bicarbonate).


Tips for watching your sodium intake

  1. Read the nutrition label on every item for the total weight you are consuming
  2. Buy fresh vegetables
  3. Use olive oil, herbs, and unsalted spices to flavour foods
  4. Read portion size – the size of the palm of your hand is your reference
  5. Do your own cooking and do not buy out where possible
  6. Choose organic
  7. Avoid packaged soups


If you want to live along and healthy life, see you at the fresh vegetable and protein counter. You decide.  Your life refined.


Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Dr Denise Bjorkman

Dr Denise Bjorkman is one of the regular expert contributors to our education platform, providing insight into personalised medicine, longevity, mental and physical health, integrative nutrition, body language and neuroscience.

She is CEO of the Neuro Business Institute, the founder of the SA Council of Coaches and Mentors and one of the leading global authorities on human body language. She has combined life careers as an educator in diverse fields. As a seasoned personal coach, author, legal scholar, neuro-wellness advisor, DNA profiler, broadcaster, and socio-political scientist, her expert consultant services have been used globally.

Her clients have included 4 heads of state, diplomats, corporate executive boards, the wellness industry, management, parents, and individuals in 16 countries for 40 years. She was described by Heidi Holland of the Sunday Times as one of the leading speakers in the country. As an opinion leader she has been a regular media commentator and much cited opinion leader for the mass media: British, European, USand local press, leading magazines, the BBC, SKY, ABC, ITN, Al Jazeera, ENCA, SABC and CNN. Topics of interviews include personality profiling, health, elections, body language and major criminal trials.

She served as a consultant to CODESA as a researcher, writer of key note addresses, advisor and as a contributor to the Media Advisory Committee, Gender Advisory Commission and the Multi-party Talks. She had her own TV programme on animal versus human body language and has featured prominently on hundreds of television and radio programs over her lifetime.

Her special interests reside in women’s development globally in which she has played a significant role for hundreds of aspirant high achievers in the political, multinational corporations and institute space. Working with multi-disciplinary teams in partnership with neuroscience gurus of Pretoria University and their research laboratory, she has helped to make major inroads into ‘brain potential’ of children, women and people seeking higher levels of performance.

Managing the toxic effects of the digital environment and social media on the human brain (without disputing its benefits)forms part of current studies. She has been described as a global authority on why touch and the skin play a critical role for mental health, wholesome children’s development, survival, longevity, a happy sex life, memory, and a boosted immune system – particularly now in times of and despite of COVID.

She therefore has a particular interest in the irrefutable role of the aesthetic industry with all its dedicated personnel and services, to help sustain physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health.

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