Learn why you need to stop adding salt to food

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Adding salt to your meal is associated with a shorter life expectancy and a higher risk of early death, according to a new study.

The study looked at more than 500,000 people in the UK who responded to a questionnaire between 2006 and 2010 about their salt consumption habits and how often they added salt to their food.

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But before you start reviewing all your favorite recipes, take note: researchers were just looking at how much salt was added after the meals in question were cooked, according to findings published in the “European Heart Journal” in July.

Scientists followed the participants for about nine years and found that the more salt people added to their meals, the more they were at risk of early death.

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However, people who consume high levels of salt can lower their risk by eating more fruits and vegetables, the study said.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day — but notes that the “ideal limit” is 1,500 milligrams daily.

Consuming too much salt can increase blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, the heart association said.

The UK’s National Health Service recommends that adults limit their sodium intake to about a teaspoon of salt a day.

There’s a long history of scientific research showing that a high-salt diet is risky, but this study adds a new level of caution against adding more to your plate, said the study’s lead author, Lu Qi, a professor of epidemiology at Tulane University School. . of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

“More evidence, especially that from clinical trials, is needed before the public takes any action,” he said.

“However, our findings are in line with previous studies, which consistently show that high sodium intake is negatively related to various health outcomes, such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.”

Going further to reduce

Even if you don’t add salt to your own dish, you may be consuming more sodium than you should.

A meta-analysis of 133 randomized controlled trials on reducing salt intake found strong evidence that reducing dietary sodium lowered blood pressure in those with existing hypertension — and even in those not already at risk.

Among the main culprits of high levels of sodium in our diets are processed foods, which often use salt for flavor, texture, color and preservation.

More than 70% of the sodium Americans eat comes from what was added by the food industry to products later purchased in stores or restaurants, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

“Most of my patients don’t add salt to the dinner table, but they don’t realize that buns, canned vegetables and chicken breast are among the worst (high-sodium) culprits in the US,” said Stephen Juraschek, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School that researches sodium and hypertension.

There are strategies, however, for maintaining a vibrant palate and creating appealing dishes with less salt, said Carly Knowles, a registered dietitian who is also a private chef, licensed doula and author of the cookbook “The Nutritionist’s Kitchen”.

Knowles recommends cooking at home — where you have more control over the salt shaker while making your meal — more often, reading the ingredients on your products, substituting unsalted herb and spice blends, and focusing your diet on minimally processed foods.

Source: CNN Brasil

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