50 Shades of Salt


It has until now been believed that high intake of salt is harmful and can contribute towards heart attack and stroke but new research, published in the Lancet, shows the exact opposite.

The study found that low salt may raise the risk of heart attack and stroke compared to an average salt intake. Lead author Andrew Mente of the Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine at Manchester University in Canada, say results indicate that only people with high blood pressure and high salt intake should reduce their salt consumption. They also say the current recommendations for daily salt intake are actually set too low.  

The team analised data of more than 130,000 people over 49 countries. They looked at the sodium intake of participants and how it related to heart disease and stroke among those without high blood pressure. It illustrated the rates of heart attack and stroke were higher in those with low salt intake, regardless of whether participants had high blood pressure. Low intake was defined as less than 3,000 milligrams per day which is higher than the current daily recommendation in the United States.

While data highlights the importance of reducing salt intake in people with hypertension it does not however support reducing salt intake in people with low levels.  

Is this highlighting yet again the importance of listening to our own body and its personal requirements? Eating fresh foods and adding both salt and pepper sensibly as we believe our body is telling us, at the same time remaining mindful of our individual conditions and requirements?


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