Salt is not good for health and we must reduce its intake. Salt has sodium whose excessive consumption is linked to several health complications including cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, etc. Experts suggest limiting salt to avert the risk of health issues. A new study has found that using dietary salt substitutes can reduce the risk of health complications while adding taste to the food.
As per a study published in the journal ‘Heart’, substituting table salt with its alternatives can cut down risk of some major health issues that are associated with sodium consumption. This study was conducted across European, Asian and American countries which showed similar results. The research team studied about 21 clinical trials on salt and its effect of heart, cardiovascular and brain health. Salt majorly consists of sodium which is a proven risk factor for high blood pressure and stroke. Besides, low potassium intake is also a risk factor. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and stroke across the globe. It is also a risk factor of untimely death. As per the global data mentioned in the study, over 1.2 billion people are hypertension patients. High sodium in diet is known to be one of the major causes of high BP.
To combat high blood pressure and associated health concerns, we need to reduce sodium and increase potassium intake to keep our heart healthy. For that, salt substitutes are the best. They have low sodium and high potassium content as compared to table salt. In salt substitutes, sodium chloride is replaced by potassium chloride. While this study found that reduction in the consumption of sodium chloride helped reduce blood pressure, no potential side effects of increasing potassium consumption are found. This shows that switching to salt substitutes can have a positive impact on your health. The study finds 13% reduction in cardiovascular diseases, 11% reduction in heart attack, 12% reduction in stroke and 11% reduced risk of early death.
One of the researchers stated, "Since blood pressure lowering is the mechanism by which salt substitutes confer their cardiovascular protection, the observed consistent blood pressure reductions make a strong case for generalise ability of the cardiovascular protective effect observed in the SSaSS both outside of China and beyond."
"These findings are unlikely to reflect the play of chance and support the adoption of salt substitutes in clinical practice and public health policy as a strategy to reduce dietary sodium intake, increase dietary potassium intake, lower blood pressure and prevent major cardiovascular events," the research team concluded.
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