Adding low-sodium salt to diet can prevent stroke risk. A new study found that a diet rich in high sodium and low potassium levels is associated with high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and premature death.
This randomized trial was conducted in rural China which shows that people who consumed reduced-sodium salt were less likely to have a stroke or die.
According to the researchers, widespread use of this type of salt could be an inexpensive way to improve the health of low-income, disadvantaged populations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states high blood pressure, also known as hypertension affects 47% of adults in the United States, around 116 million people.
Hypertension increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Previous studies have shown that limiting sodium in the diet and taking potassium supplements can reduce blood pressure.
Regular salt is sodium chloride, while the reduced-sodium variety contains both sodium chloride and potassium chloride.
The latest trial now appears in The New England Journal of Medicine. It concludes that switching to reduced-sodium salt may reduce stroke risk.
“We delivered the intervention safely and effectively by asking people to self-identify and exclude themselves if they were at risk of hyperkalemia,” lead study author Prof. Bruce Neal, of The George Institute for Global Health, in Newtown, Australia, said. “This was a simple and highly pragmatic approach that could be easily replicated anywhere to exclude people at risk,” he added.