Like salty foods? Study shows salt may not be all bad

More research needed to know how much salt each person's heart can handle

chef using seasoning blogOnly 1 percent of adults meet the current guidelines for dietary salt intake, which has led to efforts to reduce sodium in common foods like bread and soup. However, a new research study in over 2,600 seniors suggests that salt intake doesn’t strongly affect heart health in older adults.

Authors of the JAMA Internal Medicine study brought to a simmer the debate over which is better – longstanding federal guidelines to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, or a new low of 1,500 milligrams or less. Based on information from dietary questionnaires, neither sodium guideline showed remarkable results in protecting from heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.

At first, this looks like good news for those who’ve eaten the same way for a long time and can’t imagine changing what’s on their plate – but the findings don’t necessarily mean patients can leave their doctors’ offices ignoring good advice about salt restriction. Continue reading

What’s the problem with too much sodium?

Why too much salt is unhealthy and tips for cutting back

nutrition-label-sodiumToo much sodium may cause your body to hold on to extra water, which can raise your blood pressure and force your heart and kidneys to work harder. By limiting sodium, you will lower your risk of serious health issues.

Where is all that sodium coming from?

The most common source of sodium is salt. According to the American Heart Association, up to 75 percent of the sodium that Americans consume is found in processed foods such as tomato sauce, soups, condiments, canned foods and prepared mixes. Fast food and restaurant meals also are very high in sodium. Doctors recommend reducing your sodium consumption to less than 1,500 milligrams a day if you are 51 or older, are African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

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