Adding salt to food at the table can shave years off your life, a study shows

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Adding salt to food at the table can shave years off your life, a study shows

  • A new study found that adding salt to convenience foods can lead to premature death.
  • Researchers believe you may be consuming more sodium in your diet than you realize, and adding salt to your diet could increase your chances of premature death.
  • On the other hand, the study shows that adding potassium to your diet could counteract the dangerous effects of salt.

    Next time you’re at the dining table, you might want to think twice before picking up the salt shaker.

    A new study found that adding salt to a meal after it was already prepared reduced life expectancy by 1.5 years in women and 2.28 years in men. The study, published in the European Heart Journal, looked at UK Biobank data from 501,379 participants who completed a questionnaire on the frequency of average salt addition to food. The researchers also collected urine samples to further study the effects of sodium on the body.

    Ultimately, the results suggest that more salt addition to convenience foods is associated with early death (higher risk of premature mortality from all causes and reduced life expectancy).

    We’ve known for some time that reducing salt intake can be beneficial for heart health — studies have consistently shown that increasing sodium intake beyond a certain point makes the body worse in a variety of ways, including the risk of heart -Circulatory diseases . Rigved V. Tadwalkar, MDa cardiologist from the Pacific Heart Institute explains why this particular study shows this addition of extras Salt to our meal is not the best idea.

    “What made this study interesting is that it looked at adding salt in conjunction with the salt that was already present, which already accompanies the foods that people normally eat,” says Dr. Tadwalkar.

    Because the study looked at adding salt to meals and not the salt already in ready meals, it paints a clearer picture by showing that increasing salt levels beyond what’s already in our foods is beneficial is harmful to our health. But before you throw away your table salt forever, researchers did note that high intakes of potassium-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits can reduce the effects of adding salt to foods and the consequences this can have on mortality.

    “Dietary potassium counteracts the effects of sodium in many ways,” says Dr. Tadwalkar. There are many great potassium-rich foods that can curb the risk of illness or mortality associated with sodium. Fruits and vegetables make up most of these, but bananas, potatoes, zucchini, squash, leafy greens, broccoli, lentils, beans, and fish in particular are all great sources of potassium, which can thwart sodium’s effects on your heart health.

    Who should pay special attention to their sodium intake?

    “Most people should take care of theirs heart health, regardless of their initial condition,” says Dr. Tadwalkar. “There is basically a sodium epidemic in this country, along with most Western diets, so very few people are immune to the effects of sodium. This is partly why there is a known epidemic of cardiovascular disease, because we have many hidden sources of sodium in foods that we might think don’t contain a lot of sodium, but actually contain more due to the packaging and preparation included,” he adds.

    People with a history of heart disease and people with risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressurehigh cholesterol, and diabetes, these are individuals who need to be even more aware of their sodium intake than the general population. Individuals with a family history of cardiovascular problems should also be particularly cautious.

    Bread, pizza, poultry, salad dressing, and canned and frozen foods are just a few common examples of foods high in sodium that you may not notice. according to dr Tadwalkar “it turns out that many healthy foods also end up being high in sodium to make the food tastier.”

    So next time you go to the grocery store, double check the sodium content before you buy. And try to skimp on the salt when it’s actually time to spice up your meal.

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