A Salty New Study

salt_shakerThink you eat well enough to balance out your zest for a little extra salt on your food? Think again! A new study claims a healthy diet may not protect you from the effects of high salt intake on blood pressure.

From U.S. News and World Report:

“Pass the salt” may be an oft-heard phrase at the American dinner table – but new research shows that people may want to limit that request if they can, no matter how healthy an eater they are otherwise.

The bottom line: If you’re eating higher amounts of salt, you’re still going to have high blood pressure, according to new research in Hypertension, a monthly, peer-reviewed journal.

According to ScienceDaily.com, “Previously, experts believed that eating high amounts of fruit and vegetables might help counteract the effect of high salt on blood pressure. However while these foods do tend to lower blood pressure, the new research suggests they do not counteract the adverse influence of salt intake.”

DigitalJournal.com quoted lead researcher, Queenie Chan, as saying:

“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.”

However, that may be easier said than done. Unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as skipping the salt shaker at the dinner table as United Press International (UPI) pointed out.

And since most dietary sodium comes from processed and prepared foods, the study authors said that the only solution is to regulate salt at the manufacturing level.

“As salt is almost everywhere in the food supply, the food industry needs to reduce its addition of salt in food processing,” said Chan, a senior research officer at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health in England.

High-salt diets lead to high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke, the researchers pointed out. And very little sodium comes from the salt shaker on the table.

If it’s true that very little sodium comes from the “salt shaker on the table,” we’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can find practical solutions to curb our salt intake. Do you believe we can do it at the manufacturing level? If so, how? Generating meaningful conversations around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

 

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