Could it be dangerous to avoid salt? The controversy over the advice to eat less salt continues with a new study published in the prestigious The Lancet.
Researchers find that people eating a low amount of salt have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. A moderate intake is generally associated with the lowest risk. But people eating a high amount of salt only have an increased risk of heart disease if they also have high blood pressure.
What it means
This study – like most – is based on statistical data, that can’t prove cause and effect. But it strengthens the argument that a moderate intake of salt, 3 to 6 grams of sodium per day (7,5 – 15 grams of salt), may be best for pretty much everyone. This matches what most people eat in developed societies.
Current official advice on low-salt diets may be misguided. It’s possible that it’s even harmful to avoid salt!
So if you like salt you can probably have all you want. Just try to keep your salt intake somewhat moderate if you have high blood pressure.
- Science Daily: Low-salt diets may not be beneficial for all, study suggests
- Medical Daily: Low-Sodium Diet May Increase Heart Disease Risk For Those Without High Blood Pressure
- CBC: Low-Sodium Diets Not Always Worth Their Salt, McMaster Study Finds
- The Lancet: Associations of Urinary Sodium Excretion with Cardiovascular Events in Individuals with and Without Hypertension: A Pooled Analysis of Data from Four Studies