Average salt eating is safe for your heart

Average salt eating is safe for your heart

In a large international study, researchers find that for most people eating salt is safe for heart health except for those who eat more than 5 grams of salt a day.

The study shows that only less than 5% of people in developed countries eat too much salt.

For these people, they still can reduce the health risks from too much salt eating by adding fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes, and other potassium rich foods into their diet.

In the study, the team followed 94,000 people, aged 35 to 70, for an average of eight years in communities from18 countries around the world.

They found there is a risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes only where the average salt intake is greater than 5 grams of sodium a day.

The team showed that China is the only country in their study where 80% of communities have a sodium intake of more than five grams a day.

In the other countries, the majority of the communities had an average sodium consumption of 3 to 5 grams a day (equivalent to 1.5 to 2.5 teaspoons of salt).

In these places, salt eating was inversely linked to heart attacks and total mortality, and no increase in stroke.

The team also found that all major cardiovascular problems, including death, decreased in people where there is higher intake of potassium from fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, potatoes and nuts and beans.

The team suggests that there is no convincing evidence that people with moderate or average sodium intake need to reduce their sodium intake for prevention of heart disease and stroke.

Besides Canada, this research paper involved individual and community information from the countries of Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, India, Iran, Malaysia, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe.

Andrew Mente is first author of the study and a PHRI researcher. Martin O’Donnell, co-author of the report, is a PHRI researcher and an associate clinical professor of medicine at McMaster.

The research is published in The Lancet.

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Source: The Lancet.