The simple diet tweak that could 'slash your risk of deadly heart attack' | The Sun
17th August 2022

IT has long been recognised by scientists that eating a high salt diet can be dangerous for your health. 

But how much salt is bad for you? And how much can we actually get away with sprinkling on our food?

Now, experts have discovered exactly how much salt you need to cut down on to help slash your risk of deadly heart attack – and no, you don't have to cut it out altogether. 

According to recent research published in the BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health, just a very modest cut of daily salt intake could significantly ward off your risk of heart disease and strokes. 

Salt is known to drive up blood pressure which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

The NHS recommends no more than 6g of salt per day – which equates to around one teaspoon. This includes salt found in pre-made foods and when cooking. 

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The average Brit manages to consume around 8g per day – just over the recommended daily allowance. 

China on the other hand, has the highest salt intake of any nation with the average person eating 11g per day.

By analysing population size, salt intake and heart diseases, scientists discovered that reducing salt intake by just 1g a day could prevent over nine million heart attacks and strokes in China.

The researchers, from campaign group Action on Salt, also said that reducing salt intake by 1g can also prevent over four million deaths in the country within eight years.

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Although Brits don't consume as much salt as people in China, the study suggests that cutting down on salt is good for overall cardiovascular health.

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, chairman of Action on Salt and co-author of the study said: “Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to lower blood pressure and cut the number of people dying and suffering from strokes and heart disease."

It comes as another study published last week, found that replacing salt with dietary salt substitutes, such as LoSalt, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Meanwhile, a report published last week found that heart attack patients’ chances of survival are down to a postcode lottery.

Those living in London and the South East are most likely to survive.

Those areas are said to have the best NHS heart doctors — while care in the regions is worse.

UK hospitals deal with 100,000 heart attack patients a year — one every five minutes.

The NHS recommends no more than one teaspoon per day, including in pre-made foods and when cooking.

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How can I lower my daily salt intake?

  • When buying everyday food pick the items lower in salt by looking at nutrition labels on food packaging
  • Use black pepper as seasoning instead of salt
  • Make sauces using ripe tomatoes and garlic instead of buying premade supermarket sauces
  • Buy tinned vegetables without added salt
  • Effervescent vitamin supplements and painkillers contain high levels of salt — consider changing to a non-soluble tablet

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