Research Institute (PHRI) calls into question the long-accepted idea that low-salt diets are healthier for the heart.
Researchers studied more than 130,000 people from around the world in an attempt to determine if there are differences between how sodium intake affects those with high blood pressure versus those with normal blood pressure. What they discovered was surprising. In all subjects, whether their blood pressure was low or high, those who ate a low-salt diet had a greater incidence of strokes, heart attacks and death than subjects who ate a standard diet with an average salt intake.
The study also found that only subjects who already had high blood pressure were affected by eating high-sodium diets, which is defined as 6,000 milligrams or more of salt per day. Researchers believe this means that the only people who should reduce their salt intake are those who already have high blood pressure – and even then, they should be careful not to eat too little salt. They’ve put forth the idea that the current dietary guidelines for daily salt consumption are too low.
A better, healthier approach, they’ve proposed, would be to eat salt in moderation, neither too high nor too low.