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Lower-sodium salt CAN cut risk of stroke and heart attack, study suggests

Lower sodium salt MAY reduce stroke and heart attack risk by helping lower blood pressure, study suggests

  • Team from Harbin Medical University, China examined five studies on salt
  • Those who used salt substitutes had an 11 percent lower risk of death during studies
  • They also had a 13 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease

Using low-sodium alternatives to salt lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke and early death, a large review suggests.

People who switched to a seasoning in which some of the sodium was replaced by potassium also saw their blood pressure drop.

A team from Harbin Medical University, China, examined five studies on salt, involving more than 24,000 people.

Using low-sodium alternatives to salt lowers risk of heart attack, stroke and early death, large review suggests

Using low-sodium alternatives to salt lowers risk of heart attack, stroke and early death, large review suggests

Those who used salt substitutes had an 11 percent lower risk of death during the studies, which ranged from one month to five years.

They also had a 13 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and an 11 percent lower chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

Every 10 percent lower amount of sodium chloride in the salt substitute was associated with a 1.53 mmHg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the higher number). Researcher Dr Maoyi Tian said it “supports the adoption of salt substitutes … to prevent serious cardiovascular events.”

People who switched to a seasoning in which some of the sodium was replaced by potassium also saw their blood pressure drop

People who switched to a seasoning in which some of the sodium was replaced by potassium also saw their blood pressure drop

The NHS advises adults to eat no more than 6g of salt a day, which is equivalent to 2.4g of sodium or about 1 teaspoon.

Tracy Parker, a heart health dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This research is a useful reminder to reduce the amount of salt we have in our diets and look for alternatives.

“Although low-salt substitutes contain less sodium than regular salt, they still contain potassium, which may not be suitable for some people with heart problems and other existing health conditions.

‘If you want to take care of your health, it’s better to just eat less salt. Using different herbs and spices in cooking is a great way to add flavor and replace salt.”

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