Tags: Heart Disease | High Blood Pressure | salt | hypertension | high blood pressure | stroke

Salt: Maybe It's Not So Bad, say Researchers

Tuesday, 07 April 2015 01:02 PM


Salt is an essential mineral for health, helping to regulate blood pressure as well as nerve and muscle function. But excess salt raises blood pressure and leads to strokes.

For years, health officials have told Americans that they're eating too much. They've recommended that most of us should lower our salt intake, and some experts advised strict salt limits.

But other experts say the amount of salt most Americans eat isn't harmful. They point to numerous recent studies showing that lowering salt intake to levels recommended by the government actually increases the risk of heart disease.

"There is no longer any valid basis for the current salt guidelines," Andrew Mente, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario, told the Washington Post. "So why are we still scaring people about salt?" asked Mente, one of the researchers involved in a major study published last year by the New England Journal of Medicine.

While major groups like the American Heart Association continue to support the decades-old guidelines that call for reducing sodium in American diets, the federal government has a problem as it plans to finalize its Dietary Guidelines for 2015.

Either the government will ignore new studies that show salt consumption isn't a problem, or it will have to withdraw one of its oldest directives.

Both sides agree that too much salt can be dangerous, especially for people who have high blood pressure. But they disagree on how much is too much, says the Washington Post.

Current guidelines recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt daily — about a teaspoon — for most Americans. African-Americans and people over 50 shouldn't have more than 1,500 milligrams a day, the guidelines say.

The average American consumes about 3,500 milligrams a day. That, according to one group, poses no danger for the most people.

In fact, they say, a healthy person can safely ingest as much as 6,000 milligrams a day, and too little salt — below 3,000 milligrams — raises health risks.

To read the entire Washington Post article, go here.



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Salt is an essential mineral for health, helping to regulate blood pressure as well as nerve and muscle function. But excess salt raises blood pressure and leads to strokes. For years, health officials have told Americans that they're eating too much. They've recommended...
salt, hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke
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2015-02-07
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 01:02 PM
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