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Heart diseases remain the number one cause of death around the globe. It is a term that describes a range of health diseases that affect the heart such as heart attack and stroke. While there are many factors that trigger heart diseases, an unhealthy diet can also elevate that risk. Studies have shown that people who eat diets high in salt are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
One of the leading factors that trigger heart diseases is high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high BP is believed to be a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Blood pressure is known to increase with a diet that is high in sodium and low in potassium. But salt alternatives may be able to help.
A study published in the journal Heart found that dietary salt alternatives may reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, mortality from all causes, and cardiovascular disease. According to the study experts, individuals all across the world are expected to benefit from these replacements. As per the Chinese study named Salt Substitute and Stroke, salt alternatives may reduce the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, and early death. However, it was unclear whether these advantages would extend to other regions of the world. For the study, the researchers combined the findings of 21 pertinent international clinical trials that involved close to 30,000 participants and were conducted in the Western Pacific, the Americas, South-East Asia, and Europe. From one month to five years were used for the study durations. The salt substitutes' sodium chloride content ranged from 33-75 per cent, while their potassium content was between 25 and 65 per cent.
The examination of the combined data revealed that salt alternatives reduced blood pressure in all of the subjects. The two numbers - systolic and diastolic numbers make up total blood pressure, which is expressed in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The Systolic (higher) number represents the force with which the heart pumps blood throughout the body, and the diastolic (lower) number represents arterial pressure when the heart is filling with blood. Systolic blood pressure decreased generally by 4.61 mm Hg, while diastolic blood pressure decreased overall by 1.61 mm Hg.
Additionally, a 1.53 mmHg greater reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 0.95 mmHg bigger fall in diastolic blood pressure was linked to each 10 per cent lower proportion of sodium chloride in the salt alternative. There was no proof that consuming more potassium in your diet would be bad for your health.
A Lancet study found that salt intake does not damage your heart as long as you are not exceeding twice the recommended amount of daily salt intake. The study, which analysed data from more than 95,700 people in 18 countries, including India, discovered that only those who consumed more than 5 g of sodium per day experienced an increase in systolic (upper reading) blood pressure of 2 86 mmHg for every 1 g of sodium intake.
As per the World Health Organization, a daily salt intake of 5 gm (one level teaspoon of salt, 2 gm of sodium), which is comparable to 12.5 gm of salt, or 2.5 times more than that amount is enough for an adult.
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