Recent research has shown that not only a high salt intake may increase the risk of stroke and heart attack but that a low salt diet might be just as dangerous.
The study showed that low salt or sodium intake may lead to a higher risk of death and cardiovascular disease compared with normal salt consumption.
A group of scientists from McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences conducted this study and found out that the only people that need to have a low salt diet are the ones with hypertension and high blood pressure.
The study has 130,000 participants from 49 countries, and it focused on determining if people who suffer from hypertension have a different relationship between sodium intake and death, stroke or heart disease than the ones that have an average blood pressure.
Scientists learned that it even if people have high blood pressure, low salt consumption is related to more cases of deaths, strokes, and heart attacks compared with normal consumption. According to Andrew Mente, lead author of the study and associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster, this information is crucial, especially for those who suffer from high blood pressure.
Plus, scientists think the level of the daily salt consumption is below what should be recommended. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that one person should consume one teaspoon or less than 2,300 milligrams of salt each day.
Nevertheless, experts did not agree with the methods of the study, whereas other raised many questions regarding the study’s findings.
According to Professor Francesco Cappuccio, head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nutrition of the University of Warwick, this study is a just ‘bad science,’ because its methods are questionable, especially the early morning urine tests used to determine salt intake.
Indeed, such a controversy might lead to confusion. However, our best bet would be to avoid exaggeration. Unless it’s recommended by the doctor, or as previously mentioned, in case you suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure, then you may consider consuming an average level of salt.
All in all, low salt diet has not been proved to be healthy yet. Therefore, it is better to talk with a doctor instead of taking the wrong decision.