Here’s a very interesting article that not only talks about how harmful excess salt can be, but how combining it with a low potassium diet can possibly be fatal. Important stuff here.
CHICAGO — Put down the salt shakers. Eating too much salt and too little potassium can increase the risk of death, U.S. government researchers said on Monday.
The findings from a team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a counterpoint to a fiercely-debated study released last week that found no evidence that making small cuts in salt intake lowers the risk of heart disease and premature death.
“Salt is still bad for you,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner for New York City, which is leading a campaign to reduce salt in restaurant and packaged foods by 25 percent over five years.
Most health experts agree with Farley that consuming too much salt is not good for you and that cutting salt intake can reduce high blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. Salt intake has been rising since the 1970s, with Americans consuming about twice the recommended daily limit.
The CDC study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, specifically focused on growing research that shows a diet high in salt and low in potassium is especially risky.
Farley, who wrote an editorial on the CDC study, said it is one of the best yet looking at the long-term effects of eating too much salt.
“It is entirely consistent with what we’ve said all along about sodium intake,” Farley said in a telephone interview.
For the study, researchers looked at the long-term effects of sodium and potassium intake as part of a 15-year study of more than 12,000 people.
By the end of the study period, 2,270 of the study participants had died; 825 of these deaths were from heart disease and 433 were from blood clots and strokes.
POTASSIUM IS KEY
They found that people who had a high salt intake and a low potassium intake were most at risk.
“People who ate a diet high in sodium and low in potassium had a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and about twice the risk of death — or a 200 percent increase — from a heart attack,” said Dr. Elena Kuklina of the CDC who helped lead the study.
She said consumers need to increase the levels of potassium in their diet by adding more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, grapes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and low fat milk and yogurt.
The Warrior Walker