Low-Sodium Diets: Not Always Healthy

Contrary to the popular thought, maintaining low-sodium diet may not be healthy after all. According to recent study, cutting down your daily salt intake could actually be harmful to your body.

Recent global study conducted by the researchers of the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Science found low-sodium diets actually increase risk of cardiovascular disease and death compared to diets with average sodium consumption.

The new study was published in The Lancet Medical Journal on Friday.

For years, people have been told to avoid eating too much sodium, in believing that it could cause damage in your kidneys or may experience hypertension. But according to the lead author Andrew Mente, there’s also another message that isn’t usually heard: “make sure to get enough sodium”.

Salt is an essential nutrient and is needed by the body, said Mente, a principal investigator of the Population Health Research Institute and an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Hamilton, Ont.

If the body doesn’t get enough of it, health problems could result, including an increase risk of heart attack and stroke.

Maintaining a moderate intake of sodium each day is the healthiest choice especially for those who are suffering from hypertension.

If you eat fruits and vegetables, exercise, minimize processed foods and don’t smoke, “you’ll be fine, you don’t even have to think about sodium,” he said.

According to the study, a high-sodium diet is only linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease on people with high blood pressure. For people who have normal blood pressure, the high sodium diet was not associated with cardiovascular disease.

“Given that lower sodium is related to lower blood pressure, they assume that that’s going to translate into lower cardiovascular disease,” he sais, speaking of past researchers. “It turns out these assumptions are wrong.”

Even though the study was only conducted in Canada due to Canadians’ low sodium intakes, this also may apply to anyone who controls his or her sodium intake.

Source: CBC Google News

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