For years, people have been told to eat less salt. The hugely popular paleo diet, which is based on consuming what our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic times, recommends limiting salt based on evidence of low salt intake during the Paleolithic era. A low salt intake has been touted to help lower blood pressure and help people live a longer life.
Recent evidence suggests that a low-salt diet might actually be harmful to one’s health, causing serious health consequences, according to Medical News Today. A new study in the Lancet found that low sodium intake may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Compared with people who had an average sodium intake, the rates of these issues were higher among those who had a low sodium intake, in spite of whether or not participants had high blood pressure. The researchers defined low salt intake as less than 3,000 milligrams a day. This is higher than the current sodium intake recommendations in the United States.
As a result of this study, the researchers recommend that only individuals who have high blood pressure reduce salt intake. They advise against universal limitations on salt. In addition, the researchers believe that the current salt intake recommendations may be too low. Lowering sodium intake should only be targeted towards those individuals that also have hypertension and have a current diet that is high in sodium.