A little bit of salt goes a long way in leveling up any type of dish. Unfortunately, while salt in moderation is necessary for your body, too much of it 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 lower sodium intake and help people care for their hearts in a more accessible way.
For example, one recent study published in Circulation found that replacing table salt with a salt substitute could help reduce incidents of strokecardiovascular events, and even death in people who were already at a higher risk of these events.
This large cohort study may have a significant impact on the implementation of salt substitutes because not only have they confirmed the health benefits, but researchers have now discovered that these substitutes could be extremely cost-effective as well.
For this study, researchers followed over 21,000 adults in rural Chinese villages for a five-year period. These study participants all had either a history of stroke or a history of having high blood pressure at the beginning 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 resembles table salt but is lower in sodium and enriched in added potassium.
According to the report, there were incidents of about 3,000 strokes among the participants during the five years. However, the participants who were using the salt substitute had a risk of stroke that was lower by 14%.
While these findings are promising, one report also published in Circulation pointed out that some research on salt substitutes may be too limited in 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 compared to those living in more underdeveloped rural regions of the world.
What these results mean for your health
More research still needs to be done on the benefits of salt substitutes and how to make them more accessible in everyday diets, but results of studies like these are promising, especially with salt intake being a major issue for many people.
While 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 from Harvard Health Publishing says that these substitutes can help your heart health by reducing your sodium intake, as well as providing you with necessary potassium, which many Americans are low in any way.
If you’re interested in incorporating a salt substitute into your diet, talk with your doctor or nutritionist about making a plan! And for more healthy heart tips, check out Eating Habits You Must Follow if Heart Disease Runs in Your Family.