Salt Still A Villain – Even In Healthy Diets

New research from Imperial College in London and Northwestern University shows that Salt consumption is not off-set by other Healthy Eating habits. And that means that you can eat as ‘clean’ and ‘healthy’ as you want an still have an elevated risk of heart disease if you add too much Salt…

Blood Pressure - © blog.bulletproof.comSalt intake over and above the average for your region is still a concern with respect to high blood pressure and cardiac disease – even if your overall diet is ‘clean’ and ‘healthy’…

Scientists at a number of institutions, including Imperial College London and Northwestern University, analysed the diets of over 4,000 people. The results, published in the journal Hypertension, showed that people eating higher amounts of salt had higher blood pressure — no matter how healthy a person’s overall diet.

The recommended upper limit of adult salt intake in the UK is 6 g a day — around one teaspoon. The study found that average salt intake across the study was 10.7 g a day. The average intake for the UK was 8.5 g, while the intakes for the USA, China and Japan were 9.6 g, 13.4 g and 11.7 g respectively. In short, everybody, from all cultures, is using too much Salt.

The skinny…

Dr, Queenie Chan, joint lead author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial College, said the research shows the critical importance of cutting salt intake:

“We currently have a global epidemic of high salt intake – and high blood pressure. This research shows there are no cheats when it comes to reducing blood pressure. Having a low-Salt diet is key – even if your diet is otherwise healthy and balanced. A large amount of the Salt in our diet comes from processed food, we are urging food manufacturers to take steps to reduce Salt in their products.”

What we can do…

Obviously, we can use less Salt in the foods we prepare ourselves and add less at the dinner table. As Dr. Chan points out, we can do ourselves a lot of good, Salt-wise, by cutting out or cutting down on processed foods and Fast Food dining. But there’s more to consider…

The team also used dietary data to assess the volunteers subjects’ intake of over 80 nutrients that may be linked to low blood pressure, including vitamin C, fibre, and omega-3 fatty acids. Many of these nutrients are found in fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Funny, but aren’t those the foods nutritionists and other authorities keep telling us to feature in our daily diets?

~ Maggie J.

Posted under: Food News, Food Tips

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