Thought your healthy diet might offset the effects of eating too much salt? Wrong.
A study that analyzed over 4,000 people from the US, UK and Japan showed that those who ate higer amounts of salt had higher blood pressure - regardless of their diet. You might already know this, but high blood pressure can increase the risk of a number of conditions like heart attacks adn stroke. Before this study, it was thought that vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables might help in lowering blood pressure.
While it has been proven that these foods can lower blood pressure, this new research suggests they do not counteract the adverse influence of salt intake. During the study, the team assessed concentrations of sodium and potassium while they also assessed their intake of more than 80 nutrients that may be linked to low blood pressure. These include Vitamin C, Fiber and Omega-3 Fatty acids.
The researchers were able to identify a correlation between high blood pressure and higher salt intake, even in people who were digesting higher amounts of potassium and other nutrients. On the high end, the recommended limit of adult salt intake is around 6 grams a day - around one teaspoon. The study foudn that the average person was consuming around 10.7 grams a day.
An increase in salt intake above the average amount was definitvely linked to an increase in blood pressure. An additional 7 grams of salt above the average was associated with an increase in systolic blood pressure of 3.7 mmHg.
The conclusion? Don't ignore your salt intake just because your diet is overall very healthy. There is no proof that a healthier diet will make any impact on the negative effects of your high salt intake.
Here's a fun fact about salt: if you're experiencing a sensitivity to spice - it may be because your salt intake is way too high. Studies have shown there is a direct correlation between high salt intake and a lowered tolerance for spicy foods. Lower your salt intake, and enjoy spicy food at your leisure!