Healthy Diet does not counteract Salt Intake Effects

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Researchers reveal that a following a healthy diet does not necessarily offset the effects of salt intake on blood pressure, according to a new study published in March 2018.

Scientists from Imperial College London and Northwestern University, studied sodium effects on blood pressure despite healthy diets plans.

The team analyzed data of diet plans of over 4,000 people and found that despite the overall health level of the diet, those who consumed higher levels of salt than others, were bound to have higher blood pressure.

Scientists have advised food manufacturers to lower the salt content in their products. The team studied data from INTERMAP study, which tracked diets of 4,680 people, aged 40-59 years, from the U.S., U.K., Japan, and China, conducted between 1997 and 1999. Two urine samples of the participants were taken during a period of four days. The team also measured their height, weight, and blood pressure.

Concentrations of sodium and potassium as well as 80 nutrients associated with low blood pressure were assessed in the urine samples. The results showed that people who consumed high amounts of potassium and other nutrients also recorded high blood pressure due to higher salt intake. The upper limit of adult salt intake recommended in the U.K. is 6g per day, which accounts for one teaspoon. This average differs depending on country. For instance, the average intake for the U.S., China, and Japan is 9.6g, 13.4g, and 11.7g, respectively.

Increasing intake of salt, exceeding the recommended average seemed to have been linked to an increased in blood pressure, based on the results obtained by the study. Systolic blood pressure of 3.7 mmHg was recorded with an increase of an additional 7g of salt over the recommended average intake.

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