Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cut Heart Risk by Eating Less Salt

A Lower-Salt Diet Lowers Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke WebMD 4/19/07 "Even modest reductions in salt intake can dramatically lower heart disease risk...people who reduced their dietary sodium while participating in the studies saw 25% reductions in heart disease and stroke risk 10 to 15 years later, compared with people who ate their usual diets...Ten to 15 years after the end of the original trials, participants in the intervention arms of the two studies were found to have lower cardiovascular risk and a slightly lower risk of death from all causes than participants who ate their usual diets...Most people eat much more salt than they realize, he says, because restaurant meals and processed foods have replaced home cooking in the American diet. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults should not exceed 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. This is equal to about 1 teaspoon of table salt, but sodium is found in many processed and pre-packaged foods..."The average American is eating three times as much salt as is healthy every day -- the equivalent of 2 to 3 teaspoons instead of no more than 1," he says. "The assumption tends to be, 'If I don't use my salt shaker much, I'm probably OK,' but that just isn't true.""

Cutting back on salt, ughh, this is a hard one. I think it might be easier to cut back on sugar. Salt makes almost everything taste better, sugar only some things. So it's virtually official, the dietary axis of evil is salt, (bad)fats and sugar. At least dark chocolate with small amounts of sugar seems to be the health oasis of dietary indulgence.

I also have to wonder now about the Charlie Roses of the world that eat out almost every night. Did his heart disease stem in large part from eating extremely sodium rich restaurant food almost every day?

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