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Too little salt could hurt your heart

19/07/2012 10:00:00 AM
MSN NZ
Too little salt could hurt your heart
Too little salt could hurt your heart

Heart experts have always advocated salt reduction to improve our health, but new research from the US warns that too little salt could also increase our risk of heart attack and stroke.

Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reviewed 23 studies that looked at the impact salt has on our bodies.

Lead author Dr Michael Alderman told the UK's Daily Mail that rather than aiming for less than 6g a day — the Heart Foundation's recommendation — we should be ideally consuming between 6.25g and 15g.

"Salt intakes above and below this range are associated with increased cardiovascular risk," said Dr Alderman, whose paper was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

"Accumulating scientific evidence has raised uncertainty about the health effects of universal salt restriction."

According to the Daily Mail researchers are unsure exactly how too little salt impacts our health, however it appears it could be related to increased cholesterol and triglycerides, which cause heart disease, as well as insulin resistance, which leads to Type 2 diabetes.

Salt is a chemical compound composed of sodium and chloride. Our bodies need a small amount to help blood flow and regulate tissue fluids, but too much can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Preparing your own fresh foods is one of the best ways to ensure you're not overdoing the salt.

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