According to a study published in the “European Heart Journal,” women who consume bananas, avocados and salmon can reduce the negative effects of salt in the diet.
“High salt intake is associated with high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke,” says study author Lifert Vogt from the University Medical Centers Amsterdam, Netherlands. “Health advice has focused on limiting salt intake, but this is difficult to achieve when our diets include processed foods. Potassium helps the body excrete more sodium in the urine. In our study, Dietary potassium was associated with the greatest health benefits for women.”
The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume at least 3.5 grams of potassium and less than 2 grams of sodium (5 grams of salt).
The study included 24,963 participants (11,267 men and 13,696 women) from the EPIC-Norfolk study, which recruited people aged 40 to 79 between 1993 and 1997. The median age was 59 years for males and 58 years for males. For ladies. Participants completed a lifestyle questionnaire, their blood pressure was measured, and a urine sample was collected. Urinary sodium and potassium were used to estimate dietary intake., Participants were divided into tertiles based on sodium (low/moderate/high) and potassium (low/moderate/high) intake.
The researchers examined the association between potassium intake and blood pressure after adjusting for age, gender and sodium intake. Potassium intake (in grams per day) was associated with blood pressure in women: as intake increased, blood pressure decreased.
When the association was analyzed on the basis of sodium intake (low/moderate/high), the association between potassium and blood pressure was observed only in women with high sodium intake, where each 1-gram increase of daily potassium decreased 2.4 mmHg. was associated with. in systolic blood pressure. In men, no association was observed between potassium and blood pressure.
During a median follow-up of 19.5 years, 13,596 (55%) participants were hospitalized or died of heart disease. Researchers analyzed the relationship between potassium intake and cardiovascular events after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, sodium intake, use of lipid-lowering drugs, smoking, alcohol intake, diabetes and previous heart attack or stroke. did.
Results suggest potassium helps maintain heart health, but women benefit more than men
Across the group, those in the highest tertile for potassium intake had a 13% lower risk of cardiovascular events than those in the lowest tertile., When men and women were analyzed separately, the respective risk reductions were 7% and 11%, respectively. Dietary salt intake does not affect the relationship between potassium and cardiovascular events in men or women.
“The results suggest that potassium helps maintain heart health, but women benefited more than men. The association between potassium and cardiovascular events was similar, regardless of salt intake, suggesting That potassium has other ways of protecting the heart than increasing sodium excretion,” Vogt says.
Foods rich in potassium are vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, dairy products and fish. For example, 115 grams of bananas contain 375 milligrams of potassium, 154 grams of cooked salmon contain 780 milligrams, 136 grams of potatoes contain 500 milligrams, and a cup of milk contains 375 milligrams.
“Our results suggest that a heart-healthy diet goes beyond limiting salt and increasing potassium content. Food companies can help by switching from the standard sodium-based salt in processed foods to potassium salt substitutes. Also “We should all prefer fresh and unprocessed foods, as they are rich in potassium and low in salt,” Vogt concluded.