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Reducing Even A Gram Of Salt May Lower Heart Disease, Stroke Risk: Study

You must have heard that increasing your salt intake can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. We ask an expert to suggest some ways to lower the risk.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : September 21, 2022 7:01 PM IST

Heart diseases or cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the world. According to reports, ischemic heart disease and stroke are two of the most common causes of disability and increasing health care costs. Several factors trigger the onset of heart diseases, including many lifestyle factors. For instance, increased salt intake is found to be a culprit by many researchers.

Did you know cutting even 1 gram of salt per day from your diet can lower your risk of heart disease? A study published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health found that reducing salt intake can lead to health problems. They also found that reducing salt intake even by a gram can reduce your high blood pressure, thus lowering your chances of developing heart diseases.

Increased Salt Intake Increases Your Risk Of Heart Disease

Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, senior cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai said, "Conclusive evidence exists that excessive dietary sodium contributes to high blood pressure. Eating too much salt can cause your blood pressure to spike and increase stress on your heart. Consuming too much salt in your diet causes your body to retain too much water, raising your blood pressure, which can harm your heart and arteries. High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease, increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack and congestive heart failure. According to the World Health Organization, 62 per cent of all strokes and 49 per cent of ischemic heart disease cases are attributable to high blood pressure."

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How Much Salt Is Too Much Salt?

The salt intake for adults and children depends on the age of the person. Here is a list by Dr Dora that you should know about:

  • Adults should eat less than 6 grams of salt each day - that's about one teaspoon. This includes salt that is already present in prepared foods like bread as well as salt that is added during cooking and when dining. Children should consume less salt than adults.
  • Check the nutritional information on food labels and try to pick low-salt options and ingredients
  • Add less salt when cooking and don't add salt to your food at the table. As you get used to the taste of food without salt, cut it out completely.
  • Flavour your food with pepper, herbs, garlic, spices or lemon juice instead.

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