A little salt helps to level any type of dish. Unfortunately, while salt in moderation is necessary for your body, too much can quickly become unhealthy and lead to serious heart and health complications. This is why researchers and medical professionals are continually looking for ways to reduce sodium intake and help people care for their heart in a more accessible way.
For example, a recent study published in Circulation found that replacing table salt with a salt substitute could help reduce stroke accidentscardiovascular events and even death in people who were already at higher risk for these events.
This large cohort study could have a significant impact on the implementation of salt substitutes because not only have they confirmed the health benefits, but the researchers have now found that these substitutes could also be extremely affordable.
For this study, the researchers followed over 21,000 adults in rural Chinese villages over a five-year period. These study participants all had a history of stroke or a history of hypertension at the start of the research.
Some participants were given the salt substitute to use in their home cooking for the five-year period, while the others were still given regular table salt. This salt substitute looks like table salt but is low in sodium and enriched with added potassium.
According to the report, there were approximately 3,000 stroke incidents among participants over the five years. However, participants who were using the salt substitute had a 14% lower risk of stroke.
While these results are promising, a report also published in Circulation pointed out that some research on salt substitutes may be too limited in the population. For example, populations in economically developed regions not only have more accessible health care, but are also easier to monitor over a five-year period than those living in the world’s more underdeveloped rural regions.
What these findings mean for your health
More research is still needed on the benefits of salt substitutes and how to make them more accessible in everyday diets, but the results of studies like these are promising, especially since salt intake is a major concern for many people.
Even though we need a certain amount of salt every day, too much salt in your diet can lead to things like heart disease and stroke. And according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, these are some of the leading causes of death in the United States.
A doctor of Harvard Health Publishing say that these substitutes can help your heart health by reducing your sodium intake, as well as providing you with the necessary potassium, which many Americans are somewhat low on.
If you are interested in incorporating a salt substitute into your diet, talk to your doctor or nutritionist to make a plan! And for tips for a healthier heart, take a look at the eating habits you need to follow if heart disease occurs in your family.