Average Salt Consumption May Not Impact Heart Health

New research suggests most of us don’t consume dangerous amounts.

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The Cases For and Against Salt (2:37)

A new study published in The Lancet, that followed 94,000 people between the ages of 35-70 for roughly eight years, found that consuming salt does not increase the risk of health dangers for those who eat less than five grams (2.5 teaspoons) of salt a day. 

After examining the data from communities in 18 countries around the world, researchers found that fewer than five percent of participants were consuming more than five grams of sodium. This international study also found that individuals exceeding the recommended amounts can still eliminate health risks by improving other aspects of their diets and adding fresh produce and potassium-rich foods into their daily meals. 

China was the only country participating in this study that had a large majority of its population consuming more than five grams of salt a day. As the first author of the study, Andrew Mente, reported to Science Daily, “Only in the communities with the most sodium intake did we find a direct link between sodium intake and major cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.” Martin O’Donnell, a co-author of the report, also adds that in terms of disease prevention, “There is no convincing evidence that people with moderate sodium intake need to reduce their sodium intake.”

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