Low salt intake can put you at risk of Heart Attack and possibly death
When studies have proved that high salt consumption in a diet is bad for you, it never meant you should resort to eating less salt. Now a new study has shown how less intake of salt can cause equally harmful conditions in the body ranging from heart disease, stroke or even death.
The research published in Lancet magazine has proved that in addition to heart attacks, low salt can cause stroke and heart diseases. Low Sodium levels can put you at risk of having a heart attack in comparison to an average consumption of salt, which is the ideal amount you should be having. Not more neither less.
1 Present Dietary Recommendations of Salt Are Too Low
The study was published by Andrew Mente of the Michael de Groote School of Medicine at McMaster University, Canada. It recommended that only people suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension should reduce their salt intake. Moreover, the study also felt that existing dietary recommendations for salt consumption are way too low.
Current guidelines in the US for salty intake or sodium are set at 2300 mg per day. On the contrary, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), it was found that 90% Americans consume more than that amount.
2 What the New Study Sought To Investigate?
Although it is commonly regarded that high salt consumption can increase high blood pressure which increases the possibilities of stroke , heart attack and a number of related heart diseases, but the question remains, does low salt intake contribute to a positive effect? The answer is a big No! This is also what Professor Mente and his co-authors decided to find out.
The extensive study included an international group of almost 130,000 participants across 48 countries. With relation to their salt intake, Subjects with conditions of blood pressure were studied in comparison to those without.
3 The Results Were Amazing
What the results revealed was amazing. Low salt can cause stroke and heart disease. Those who consumed an average amount of salt showed no signs of risks relating to the diseases in question, but those who consumed less salt showed an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and possible death, regardless of whether they had blood pressure or not.
It seemed then that the factor of high blood pressure ceased to be of relative concern as all those who consumed less salt automatically fell into one category irrespective of levels of blood pressure and all were at risk of related diseases. The low salt intake levels were set at 3000 mg a day, much above US dietary recommendations of 2300 mg per day.
4 Salt Consumption Should Be Reduced Only By Those with Hypertension
The study observed that the risks of high salt intake were only found in people with hypertension. It found that only those with high blood pressure, who consumed a high salt amount, over and above 6000 mg per day, were the ones at risk of diseases related to high salt intake.
According to Mente, this is an important and significant point of concern among those suffering from high blood pressure. He said, “While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels.”
What the study seeks to accomplish is to state the fact that reducing salt consumption should only be practiced by those suffering from hypertension and who consumed high levels of salt in their diets. It was not necessary for those without such conditions to lower their salt intake.
5 Dietary Recommendations Should Not Focus On Salt In General
According to co-author, Martin O Doneell, the study has yielded a better understanding of salt intake in relation to human health. It also proved whether the current recommendations of salt intake were appropriate or not. High salt may not be good for some but low salt can cause stroke and heart diseases.
Furthermore, the team believes the results indicate that the current daily recommendation for salt intake may be set too low. Current health guidelines related to salt intake should focus more on those suffering from hypertension rather than target the intake of salt in general.
What this study means is that while you should not suddenly raise the intake of salt, if you do not suffer from high blood pressure, you should consume the average amount of salt recommended for good health.