Salty foods can wreak havoc on healthy holiday eating

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- When it comes to a healthy diet, one local doctor says that the holidays can be a trap.

"Because it is normal to feast on holidays, we eat a lot more," Dr. Wayne Weston of Twin Rivers Urgent Care says. "And the foods we eat tend to be saltier because that gives them flavor."

All of these tasty, salty foods at potlucks and family dinners can affect your blood pressure.

In November, the American Heart Association changed their guidelines as for what is classified as high blood pressure.

Any number above 130 over 80 means that you have high blood pressure.

"The lowest blood pressure you can have that's still compatible with living is really the best as long as it doesn't cause you symptoms," Weston notes.

Those symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness and blurry vision.

Weston says that the foods we eat over the holidays, including roast ham, buttered rolls, or salted vegetables, should be eaten in moderation.

"The amount of salt that you get around the holidays is way more than you get during the rest of the year when we eat normal," Weston said. "So, keep the salt shaker off the table."

The American Heart Association says that nearly half of U.S. adults meets the new criteria for high blood pressure. The organization recommends getting tested regularly, as there are often no symptoms of having high blood pressure.

"Over a long period of time, it's the average sustained blood pressure that does damage to the blood vessels," Weston adds.

Weston says to enjoy your holiday meal, but to remember that people will often overeat at holiday meals, so you should try to restrain yourself to keep your blood pressure healthy.