The consumption of excessive salt has been linked to detrimental effects on cardiovascular health. For that reason, many medical providers advocate for a low-sodium diet to mitigate the risk of hypertension and heart disease. However, a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that a simple alteration in consumption habits, such as refraining from adding salt post-preparation, may effectively reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
The study aimed at determining the link between salt and heart disease. It involved monitoring the eating habits of more than 175,000 people over a period of 11 years and eight months. At the onset of the study, none of the participants had cardiovascular disease.
Almost 12 years down the line, the findings revealed a close link between the frequency of added salt in foods that have already been cooked and the risk of heart failure and heart disease. Researchers discovered that participants who rarely added salt to already-cooked food and followed a DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet had the lowest chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
A DASH diet incorporates foods that are packed with minerals that are known to lower blood pressure. These minerals include potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The diet also limits consuming foods rich in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats.
If you can take anything from this study, avoiding adding salt to already prepared foods is best. Also, incorporate a DASH diet into your lifestyle because combining the two further reduces your chances of developing heart disease.