Reducing salt consumption helps to save lives, says research

15 April 2014        

Salt shaker

Efforts to reduce the amount of salt we eat have reduced the number of deaths from heart attacks and stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers analysed previously published data about salt consumption and blood pressure in the UK population.

Over the period studied, the average amount of salt a person consumed every day fell from 9.5g to 8.1g. This corresponded with a decline in average blood pressure readings. The study concluded that the reduction in salt consumption was likely to have played an important part in the reduction of blood pressure levels, helping to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease.

Victoria Taylor, Senior Dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: “There is a wealth of evidence that links a high salt consumption to raised blood pressure, a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. This study is interesting as it looks at what impact salt reduction strategies might have had on stroke and heart disease deaths through reductions in blood pressure.

“While the reductions in average intakes of salt are a positive change, we mustn’t forget that they are still well above the recommended maximum of 6g a day for adults.

“As most of the salt we eat is already in our food, it is important that the food industry now works towards meeting the new salt reduction targets to make sure that we can continue to reduce the salt in our diet.”