Like every nutrient, salt can be both harmful or healthy depending on your overall diseases and thу amount of it that you consume.
However, the majority of our co-citizens have a belief that we ought to minimize salt intake to stay healthy and live longer.
A controversial new study suggests that salt isn’t as bad as its long been believed. The research – published in the Lancet medical journal – assessed sodium and potassium excretion in over 95,000 people across 21 countries, and compared them to rates of cardiovascular disease.
Scientists found that sodium intake was linked to cardiovascular disease only in communities like China where the mean intake was higher than five grams per day.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently recommends no more than two grams of sodium (equivalent to five grams of salt) per day because of a link to high blood pressure which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to a paper recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia, Aussie men are consuming around 10 grams of salt per day while women are taking in approximately seven grams.
To say at least researchers highlight that no country has ever managed to get their population’s intake that low and they suggest pushing a strategy of salt reduction only in the communities where consumption was greater than 12 grams.
Moreover, the study also suggests that deficient levels of salt may actually be linked to heart attacks and deaths. While people tend to believe that it's vice versa.
“Our study adds to growing evidence to suggest that, at moderate intake, sodium may have a beneficial role in cardiovascular health, but a potentially more harmful role when intake is very high or very low. This is the relationship we would expect for any essential nutrient and health. Our bodies need essential nutrients like sodium, but the question is how much,”
lead author Prof Andrew Mente said.
But like almost every research the snag is hidden in the fact that individuals to take part in it were already at risk of disease.
“These criticisms include the use of ill participants in the study, leading to reverse causality (i.e., those suffering from heart disease don’t eat much food and consequently eat less salt, but it is the illness that leads to death rather than lower salt intake), and the use of spot urine measurements,”
Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, and founder of the salt-reduction campaign Cash, told The Guardian.
To conclude, there is still ain't another way to avoid risks unless to take up moderation. But we all hope that consensus is near.