We all know that too much salt can lead to heart disease. We are already eating more than the recommended amount of salt each day according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)1. However, what most of us might not know is that it’s the sodium in salt which has the greatest role in heart disease risk.
What the studies show
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death around the world2. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk for cardiovascular diseases so it’s important to reduce this risk. So how does this link with sodium? Reducing sodium intake can reduce blood pressure, which in turn can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. But do we really need to reduce our sodium intake?
Depending on what article you read, you are likely to find various results. Some articles say that reducing sodium intake (and hence salt) can save many lives each year, some say we are eating the right amount of sodium each day (and that too much or too little sodium can be harmful) and the others say we need less sodium and more potassium3. So how do we know who’s right?
The best course of action is to speak to your doctor to get the right advice. As a general guideline though, it’s best to look at sources such as the World Health Organisation and Government reports which contains data from experts.
The World Health Organisation recommends adults and children to reduce their sodium intake4. By reducing sodium intake, adults may experience reduced blood pressure and lower their risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. For children, it will help control blood pressure4.
The WHO also recommends increasing the amount of potassium intake5. Similar to the benefits of reduced sodium intake, this increase in potassium will see adults benefit through reduced blood pressure and lower their risk of cardiovascular and heart disease. Increased potassium will also control blood pressure in children5.
In summary, the WHO reports show that both reduced sodium and increased potassium intake can result in better health for adults and children.
How to Reduce Sodium and Increase Potassium Intake
This is where Heart SALT fits in. Heart SALT contains 56% less sodium than regular salt yet still has the great taste of salt. This makes it suitable for the whole family to use. Heart SALT also contains potassium to help protect against hypertension. By replacing some of the sodium with potassium in your diet, you can achieve greater health benefits and reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases6. This makes Heart SALT the ideal solution that also meets the WHO recommendations for sodium and potassium.
World Health Organization 2016, Salt Reduction, Geneva, <http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/salt-reduction>
- World Health Organisation 2018, Reducing sodium intake to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases in adults, Geneva, <https://www.who.int/elena/titles/sodium_cvd_adults/en/>
- Shmerling, R.H. 2014, ‘Sodium studies blur the picture on what is heart healthy’, Harvard Health Publishing < https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sodium-studies-blur-picture-heart-healthy-201408157366>
- World Health Organisation 2012, Guideline: Sodium intake for adults and children, Geneva, WHO, <http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/77985/9789241504836_eng.pdf;jsessionid=B7D25A9A4952CD191A1D806B1D6F43E5?sequence=1>
- World Health Organisation 2012, Guideline: Potassium intake for adults and children, Geneva, WHO, <http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/77986/9789241504829_eng.pdf?sequence=1>
- Yang Q, Liu T, Kuklina EV, et al. 2011, Sodium and Potassium Intake and Mortality Among US Adults: Prospective Data From the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med, 171(13):1183–1191.