The next time you find yourself at the table, maybe you should think twice before reaching for the salt shaker. Because a new study has found that adding salt after a meal reduces the lifespan of women by 1.5 years and for men by 2.28 years. The study, published in the European Heart Journal, analyzed UK Biobank data from 501,379 participants who filled out a questionnaire about how often they added salt to food on average. The researchers also collected urine samples to further examine the effects of sodium on the body.
Ultimately, the results suggest that adding salt more frequently to prepared foods is associated with an increased risk of premature death (increased risk of premature death and shorter life expectancy).
We’ve known for a long time that reducing salt intake can be beneficial for heart health: Studies have repeatedly shown that sodium intake levels above a certain point are increasingly bad for the body as a whole. Many factors, including the risk of heart disease. doctor Rigved V. TadwalkarA cardiologist at the Pacific Heart Institute explains why this study, in particular, shows why adding extra salt to our diets isn’t the best idea: “The interesting thing about this study is that it doesn’t contain any salt that’s already present. The focus has been on adding salt to the foods that people usually eat,” says Dr. Tadwalkar.
Since the study looked at the inclusion of salt in foods, not salt in prepackaged foods, it paints a clearer picture showing that more salt is more harmful to our health than the salt already in our foods. bad for. But before you throw out table salt for good, researchers have found that a high intake of potassium-rich foods, such as vegetables and fruits, can reduce the effects and consequences of adding salt to food.
“In many ways, dietary potassium counteracts the effects of sodium,” says Dr. Tadwalkar. There are several foods rich in potassium that may reduce the risk of sodium-associated disease or mortality. Most of them are fruits and vegetables, but especially bananas, potatoes, zucchini, squash, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, lentils, beans and fish are great sources of potassium that can counteract sodium’s effects on heart health.
Who should specifically monitor their salt intake?
“Most people should take care of their heart health, regardless of their early stages,” says Dr. Tadwalkar. “There is an epidemic of sodium in the US as with basically most Western diets, so very few people are immune to the effects of salt. This is part of the reason there is a known epidemic of heart disease.” Because we have a lot of hidden sources of sodium in foods where we don’t think there’s a lot of sodium, but there’s actually more because of the packaging and preparation.”
People with a history of heart disease and risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are individuals who need to be even more aware of their sodium intake than the general population. People with a family history of cardiovascular problems should also be especially careful.
Bread, pizza, poultry, salad dressings, and canned and frozen meals are some common examples of high sodium foods that you may not be aware of. According to Dr. Tadwalkar, “It turns out that many healthy foods also contain a lot of sodium in an effort to make the food more palatable.”
So the next time you go to the supermarket, double-check the sodium content before you buy. And if you want to live a few more years, try skimping on the salt when it comes time to season your food.
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