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Low-salt diets could be bad for your heart, says study

24/05/2016

Low-salt diets could be bad for your heart, says studyIt's been widely accepted for some time that a high-salt diet may increase a person's risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. But now a new study has found that a low-salt diet may also be just as dangerous.

Published in The Lancet, the findings of the study suggest that people who have a low salt or sodium intake may be increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to those who have an average intake.

In fact, the study, which was conducted by researchers at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, says that the only people who should look to reduce their salt consumption are those with high blood pressure.

Furthermore, the researchers say that current salt consumption guidelines may be too low, and should be reviewed going forward.

At present, it is recommended that Americans consume no more than 2,300mg of salt each day, which is about 1 teaspoon. However, around 90% of US adults exceed this recommendation on a regular basis, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released earlier this year.

On the other hand, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends people eat between 5 and 6g of salt each day.

The lead author of the study, Andrew Mente, 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."

Despite the study focusing on 130,000 people across 49 countries, its methods have been criticised by experts, while others have questioned the study's findings.

The bottom line? Salt should be consumed in moderation, and people with high blood pressure should seek specific medical advice to find out what is best for them.
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