November 09, 2011
Stick to salt guidelines for now
Reducing the amount of salt you eat
might not have an overall positive impact on heart health, a new
piece of research claims.
The findings showed that while
reducing sodium intake did lower blood pressure in some people, it also
caused significant increases in cholesterol, triglyceride and other compounds that can have
an adverse effect on health.
High blood pressure is a significant
risk factor for heart disease
but so is high cholesterol and elevated levels of triglyceride – a
type of energy rich fat found in dairy products, meat and cooking
In response to the findings, Tracy Parker,
our Heart Health Dietitian, said: “Cutting back on sodium is a well
established dietary change recommended for people with
raised blood pressure. And this research does show that reducing
the sodium in your diet lowers your blood pressure.
These findings aren’t conclusive but they do highlight the complexities of how diet impacts on our risk of cardiovascular disease
researchers also suggest that reducing sodium might lead to an
increase in cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, and also
affect hormones that could lead to an increase in blood pressure -
cancelling some of benefits
of eating less
“These findings aren’t conclusive but they do
highlight the complexities of how diet impacts on our risk of
cardiovascular disease. As the scientists themselves say
we’ll need more research to confirm these
findings, and understand better how they might need to be
interpreted into practical guidelines.
“In the meantime, as most of the sodium we eat
comes from salt, we should follow the current recommendation, which
for adults is to consume no more than about one teaspoon or
6g of salt per day.”
The research was published in the
American Journal of Hypertension.