- Moderate salt intake not linked to heart diseases, say new study
- Consuming as much as 5 gm salt per day considered safe
- High salt consumption can be offset by eating potassium-rich foods
Salt is an important addition to cuisines around the world, as it can add taste to any dish. It is also one of the most infamous food ingredients around and has been blamed for increased risks of high blood pressure, weight gain, acidity and even risks of dementia. This is due to the studies done on the adverse impact of consuming too much sodium in your diet. However, a new study published in the journal Lancet has indicated that we may have been demonising the pearly white ingredient a little too much. The study said that people who consume moderate or average amounts of salt with their meals, need not worry about controlling their sodium intake, as that won't result in an increased risk of heart diseases and stroke. The study was conducted with 94,000 participants from around the world, including subjects from India- a country where salt is used excessively in curries and other food items.
However, this does not mean that you start sprinkling salt over everything you eat, without worrying about its quantity. The findings of the study said that for most of the people who consume salt, there is no increased risk of heart diseases, except for those who consume over five grams of salt a day. Five grams of salt is the equivalent to two and a half teaspoons per day. So until you have been consuming salt that equals more than this quantity (which is unlikely, given how little of it is required to give taste to a dish), you are most likely in the clear, as far as heart diseases are concerned.
Even if you're someone who has been eating more salt that this stipulated safe amount in a day, you need not worry, as you can offset the negative impacts of sodium in your diet by increasing your portion of healthy fruits and vegetables, dairy products, potatoes and other potassium-rich foods. First author of the study Andrew Mente from Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada said that although the World Health Organisation recommends consuming fewer than two grams of salt per day in order to prevent cardiovascular diseases, but that there is little scientific evidence to support the fact that people who consume such low levels of salt have better health than people who don't.
(With inputs from IANS)