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Why High Salt Consumption Alone Will Not Increase Your Heart Disease Risk

Too Much Salt

Story at-a-glance -

  • New preliminary research findings suggest excessive salt consumption contributed to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010; 42 percent from coronary heart disease and 41 percent from stroke
  • However, previous research has NOT found strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death. In fact, salt restriction increased the risk of death in those with heart failure
  • Salt is an essential nutrient required for blood pressure regulation, transportation of nutrients into and out of your cells, ion exchange, and brain-muscle communication. But all salts are not equal, in terms of their impact on your health. Processed (table) salt is health harming, while natural unprocessed salt is not only healing, but in fact essential for many biological functions
  • Potassium deficiency may be more responsible for hypertension than excess sodium, and too much sodium along with too little potassium has been found to more than double your risk of death from a heart attack, compared to eating about equal amounts of both nutrients
  • Our ancient ancestors consumed 16 times more potassium than sodium. Many “experts” believe that a “normal” ratio today is four times as much potassium than sodium. It is helpful to strive for at least as much potassium from your diet as sodium
  • The best way to ensure you’re getting enough potassium is not to rely on the use of a supplement, but to avoid processed foods, and dramatically increase your vegetable intake. Juicing is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet

By Dr. Mercola

Salt has long been a treasured food staple. Far from being harmful, high-quality salt is actually essential for life, but in the United States and many other developed countries salt has been vilified as a primary cause of high blood pressure and heart disease.

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