How did people historically not have high blood pressure?


They ate things like salted meat which had an overload of salt, how come they didn’t have problems with high blood pressure?

I’m asking this because I recently discovered the papadams I eat with indian food have an insane amount of salt, and I’m having to become much more salt-conscious.

In: Biology

I imagine some people did.

But medicine didn’t know it was high blood pressure, or they died of something else before it became a problem

Some people did. Lots of people had outdoor, labor-intensive occupations, in which salt intake is less of a problem.

Also, lots of modern processed food has a mind-blowing amount of salt in it for preservation and/or taste. That wouldn’t have been a thing a century ago, in terms of processed food. Sure, salted meats, but not the same way.


First of all some people did, some died from it too. Not all of those death were understood at the time, it would take time for people to understand the physical issues behind it.

Second, salt doesn’t automatically cause high pressure. Most people can eat salt in larger quantity and be just fine. It’s usually a medical condition that create the high pressure and the salt just make thing worst.

Third you massively overestimating the amount of salt that people were eating in the past and vastly underestimating the amount of salt modern people are eating. Yes some very specific meal had high amount of salt for conservation, but salt was expensive for most of history in most region and so it was only used when it was needed, especially for food that was had to be preserved for long period like during winter. The large part of their food had no salt at all. Today, everything we eat that you didn’t prepared yourself from scratch have insane amount of salt even if you don’t realize it. When you cook with the salt and other flavor are mixed it might not taste that salty too you, but trust me it probably is. Of course it depend on your country, it’s worst in some countries more than others.

Finally there is the obesity problem. A lot more people have weight problem in our modern societies and this create more health problem. Salt wouldn’t be as big an issues if we didn’t have those issues.