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Less salt equals healthier heart

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the world. The modern lifestyle, with a lot of stress, lack of physical activity and unhealthy nutrition is responsible for approximately 80% of cardiovascular disease. Among the many risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease, the main thing is the high blood pressure, responsible for 62 percent of strokes and 49 percent of heart attacks.

One of the factors which is food critic for the increased blood pressure and its undesirable consequences is the high salt consumption. Results from studies that have assessed the reduction of salt intake for a short time indicate a direct relationship of dose response between salt intake and blood pressure. The reduction of 1 g of salt per day contributes to the fall of one point (measured in mm of mercury-mmHg) systolic pressure (the higher of the two).

Now, a new survey, longer than the previous ones held in England, extends the analysis of the relationship between salt and cardiovascular disease. In the period from 2003 to 2011 there was a 15 percent reduction in salt intake. In this same period, deaths from heart disease fell 40 percent and stroke by 42 percent. This association exposes the impact of salt intake in the population’s health.

Even though several other factors may have a portion of contribution in these reductions, it is indisputable the importance of salt as an isolated factor in the control of blood pressure and its consequences.

Even though there has been a significant reduction in salt consumption in recent years, researchers warn that consumption in England, still above the maximum recommended per day (which is 6 g of salt). This occurs in several Western countries.

One of the difficulties for the control of salt intake is the growing use of processed foods in the diet of everyday life. it is estimated that 75% of the salt consumed in the Western diet derives from the industrialized food.
These results give elements to reinforce the institutional campaigns for reducing salt intake, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and promoting health


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