If you have high blood pressure or are trying to watch your weight, then you have likely heard that you should limit your salt intake each day. But what if eating a diet that is low in sodium was actually less healthy than a diet higher in sodium than what is typically recommended?
A recent review of four separate studies on sodium intake in individuals with hypertension, as well as individuals without hypertension has found that a lower sodium diet may actually increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The studies include a total of 133,118 people who had participated in the original studies. What researchers found after looking at the wealth of data within the studies is that increased sodium intake did not increase the risk of death or adverse cardiovascular events.
Furthermore, the analysis showed that among individuals with high blood pressure, consuming more than 7 grams of sodium in a day increased the risk for adverse cardiovascular events for those with high blood pressure by 23 percent. While that may sound like the same information you have likely heard before, consider this. Among individuals with high blood pressure who consumed less than 3 grams of sodium per day, the increase in risk factors was 34 percent.
Both of these figured were in comparison to individuals who ate 4-5 grams of sodium per day. Current sodium guidelines suggest that we should eat no more than 2.3 grams of sodium in a single day in order to lower the risk for cardiovascular issues such as stroke, hypertension and death.
While it still holds true that a diet lower in sodium may lower blood pressure, there are other health factors that must be looked at in order to determine if a lower sodium diet is beneficial for your health or if it is harmful.