Health

Why you SHOULDN’T add salt to your dinner

According to scientists, sprinkling less salt on your food at the dinner table could reduce your risk of an early death.

A new study published today suggested that kicking the habit could cut your risk of heart disease, heart failure and stroke by a fifth.

Experts today called it an easy “sacrifice.”

Researchers followed nearly 200,000 Britons aged 30 to 70 for almost a decade.

A new study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that kicking the habit may reduce your risk of heart disease, heart failure and coronary heart disease

Cardiovascular disease causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK, that’s more than 160,000 deaths a year or one every three minutes.

They kill nearly 900,000 Americans every year.

Consuming too much salt is a risk factor because it leads to water retention in the blood, which puts pressure on your arteries.

This raises your blood pressure and in turn increases it the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

In an effort to quantify the risk, researchers at Tulane University say looked at the health records of 176,570 Britons.

The data includes answers to questionnaires about how much salt the participants added to their dinner – with the options never/rarely, sometimes, usually or always.

Information on cardiovascular disease was collected through their medical history, hospital admissions, death registry data, and a questionnaire.

At the start of the trial, none of the participants suffered from heart complications.

They were followed for an average of almost 12 years.

The results, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that there were nearly 10,000 events, including strokes.

Analysis showed that participants who added salt to their food less often were less likely to suffer from a heart complication.

Those who ‘never/rarely’ added the seasoning had a 23 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who said they ‘always’ added it.

Meanwhile, those who added salt only “sometimes” and “usually” also had a lower risk — 21 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

Further analysis of the results showed that those who never added salt and followed a diet to increase blood pressure – known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) – had the lowest risk.

The diet is designed to prevent or treat high blood pressure and limits salt intake.

Food that contains a lot of salt

As much as 85 percent of the salt in our diet is already in our food when we buy it.

The following foods are almost always high in salt:

  • anchovies
  • bacon
  • cheese
  • gravy granules
  • ham
  • olives
  • pickles
  • shrimps
  • salami
  • salted and dry roasted nuts
  • salty fish
  • smoked meat and fish
  • soy sauce
  • bouillon cubes
  • yeast extract

In the following foods, the salt content can vary widely between different brands or varieties.

Comparing brands and nutrition labels can help you cut back on salt for these items:

  • bread products such as crumpets, bagels and ciabatta
  • pasta sauces
  • potato chips
  • Pizza
  • Ready-made meals
  • soup
  • sandwiches
  • sausages
  • tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces
  • breakfast cereals

Those following DASH eat plenty of grains, vegetables, and fruits, as well as some low-fat dairy products and lean meats.

Professor Lu Qi, a professor at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans, said: ‘Overall, we found that people who didn’t add a little extra salt to their food tended to have much lower blood pressure. . risk of heart disease, regardless of lifestyle factors and pre-existing disease.

He added: ‘We also found that when patients combine a DASH diet with a low frequency of salt addition, they have the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease.

“This makes sense because reducing extra salt in food, not eliminating salt completely, is an incredibly modifiable risk factor that we can hopefully encourage our patients to make without much sacrifice.”

According to NHS guidelines, adults should not eat more than 6g of salt per day and children should eat even less.

But according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), adults of working age in England consume an average of 8.4g per day.

Experts say we should also check food labels when we shop to help cut down on salt.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the BHF, warned that up to 85 percent of the salt in people’s diets is already in the food when it is bought.

While it’s helpful to cut back by adding less at the table or when cooking, make a point of reading food labels to make the lowest salt choices when you’re shopping — not just for salty foods like bacon, ham, sauces and snacks, as well as everyday foods such as bread and cereals,” she said.

Ms Taylor added: ‘We know there is a link between salt intake and the risk of high blood pressure, which in turn is a risk factor for heart disease.

“Reducing the salt we add is an important way to control our blood pressure and reduce our risk of heart attack or stroke.”

The scientists found that the people who added the least amount of salt were more likely to be white, female, had a lower BMI, drank only a moderate amount of alcohol, were less likely to be current smokers and were more physically active.

However, those who added less salt also had a higher prevalence of high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease and a lower prevalence of cancer.

But these participants also ate more fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, whole grains, low-fat foods and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages or processed meats than those who added a lot of salt to their diets.

Dr. Sara Ghoneim, a gastroenterologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, warned of the long-term health risks of too much salt.

She said: ‘A major limitation of the study is the self-reported frequency of adding salt to food and the enrollment of participants from the UK only, limiting generalizability to other populations with different eating behaviours.

“The findings of the current study are encouraging and poised to expand our understanding of salt-related behavioral interventions on cardiovascular health.”

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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