Shocking Study Reveals Salt Intake Is Linked to Cardiac Issues
Reducing Your Salt Intake Could Slash Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
‘Want a Healthy Heart? Try Cutting Salt Intake!’

High salt intake has long been associated with a number of negative health effects, including an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. Now, a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has shown that reducing salt intake dramatically reduces the risk of these negative health outcomes. The study, which followed over 1.66 lakh participants from the UK Biobank over 11.8 years, showed that even when following the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), reducing salt intake was associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes. This article will look at the details of the study and its implications.

Table of Contents:

I. Overview of the Study

A. Findings of the Study

B. Impact of Salt Reduction on the Risk of Cardiac/Cardiovascular Events

II. Methodology of the Study

A. Participants

B. Process

III. Recommendations Regarding Salt Intake

A. Guidelines for the General Public

B. DASH Diet

I. Overview of the Study

A recent study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology surveyed over 1.66 lakh participants from the UK Biobank, with follow up for an average of 11.8 years. The researchers looked at the frequency of adding salt to food and its relation to heart attacks and strokes. At the end of the study, the researchers were able to conclude that increasing the amount of salt added to food was associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, even when following the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

B. Findings of the Study

The study documented nearly 7,000 heart attacks and over 2,000 strokes during the 11.8 year period. After adjusting for other risk factors, including following the DASH diet, the researchers found that adding salt to food was associated with a higher incidence of heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes. The researchers also found this to be true regardless of whether the participants were following the DASH diet or not.

C. Impact of Salt Reduction on the Risk of Cardiac/Cardiovascular Events

The research conducted as part of the study showed that reducing salt intake drastically reduced the risk of heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. This suggests that reducing the amount of salt added to one’s food could be a significant factor in reducing the risk of cardiac/cardiovascular events. Furthermore, the findings also imply that following the DASH diet might not be enough to reduce the risk of these events if one continues to add excessive amounts of salt to their food.

II. Methodology of the Study

A. Participants

The study followed over 1.66 lakh participants from the UK Biobank, who were recruited through UK GPs across England, Scotland, and Wales. The participants were followed up for an average of 11.8 years, with 7,000 heart attacks and 2,000 strokes documented during this period.

B. Process

The researchers looked at dietary habits, including the frequency of adding salt to food, and their relation to heart attacks and strokes. All other risk factors, including the DASH diet, were taken into account. 

III. Recommendations Regarding Salt Intake

A. Guidelines for the General Public

The findings of the study imply that reducing the amount of salt added to food can drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and heart failure. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends that individuals should not exceed 5 grams of salt per day, or one teaspoonful of salt per day.

B. DASH Diet

For individuals looking to reduce the risk of cardiac/cardiovascular events, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended by the American Heart Association. This diet recommends eating more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and grains, and reducing the intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, and sugar. While following the DASH diet, it is also important to maintain a low salt intake in order to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

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