19: Think twice before you pick the salt shaker at your dining table.
published in the European Heart Journal has revealed that persons who always
added salt to cooked meals were at a 28% higher risk of premature death than
those who rarely add salt, curtailing their life expectancy.
By age 50,
always adding salt to meals could shave off 2.28 years for men and 1.5 years
for women compared to those who don’t add extra salt, according to the study by
Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
knowledge, our study is the first to assess the relation between adding salt to
foods and premature death,” said lead study author Dr. Lu Qi, Professor at
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. “It provides
novel evidence to support recommendations to modify eating behaviours for
improving health. Even a modest reduction in sodium intake, by adding less or
no salt to food at the table, is likely to result in substantial health
benefits, especially when it is achieved in the general population.”
Western diet, adding salt at the table accounts for 6-20% of total salt intake
and provides a unique way to evaluate the association between habitual sodium
intake and the risk of death, Qi said.
analysed data from 501,379 people taking part in the UK Biobank study, which
asked participants about their salt consumption habits. They adjusted
for factors that could affect outcomes, such as age, sex, race,
deprivation, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity,
diet and medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart and blood vessel
diseases. Premature death was defined as death before the age of 75
did find some good news for salt lovers. Their risks tended to be reduced
slightly by eating lots of fruit and vegetables, although these results were
not statistically significant.
“We were not
surprised by this finding as fruits and vegetables are major sources of
potassium, which has protective effects and is associated with a lower risk of
premature death,” Qi said.
“Because our study is the first to report a relation between adding salt to
foods and mortality, further studies are needed to validate the findings before
Qi and his
colleagues will be carrying out further studies on the relationship between
adding salt to foods and various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular
disease and diabetes. They also expect potential clinical trials to test the
effects of a reduction in adding salt on health outcomes.