A new study has revealed a devastating fact that you should take note of you’ve been following dietary guidelines for high blood pressure from the US Food and Drug Administration or American Heart Association.
Cutting down on one ingredient in accordance with their guidelines (something almost nobody questions) can lead to stroke, heart attack and death, even if you succeed in lowering your blood pressure.
Many organizations, including the US Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association, have warned that a high sodium intake can cause high blood pressure.
Accordingly, the official dietary guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture state that people should eat no more than 2,300 milligrams (or 2.3 grams) of sodium per day, and that they should keep it well below this amount if possible.
Many researchers have now started questioning this recommendation, with the largest recent study of this kind being published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The scientists collected the information of over 100,000 people’s daily sodium consumption throughout the world by looking at the amount of sodium excreted in their urine. They also collected those same people’s blood pressure readings.
1. A large majority of those people who consumed 5.99 or more grams of sodium per day had high blood pressure. From this, they concluded that such a massive sodium intake clearly caused high blood pressure.
2. As only a moderate number of people with a daily sodium intake between 3 and 5.99 grams suffered from high blood pressure, they concluded that the relationship between sodium intake and blood pressure was weaker for this group, but that there was still a relationship.
3. For the low intake group below three grams per day, they found no relationship between sodium and blood pressure. Instead of falling, as the popular theory would suggest, these people’s blood pressure scores were completely random.
This shows that low sodium diets do not lower blood pressure.
This was, however, not the study’s most interesting finding. After monitoring the participants for an average of 3.7 years, they discovered the following:
• 4.3% of those who consumed less than three grams of daily sodium either died, developed heart failure, or suffered a heart attack or stroke.
• 3.1% with an intake between three and six grams experienced these outcomes.
• 3.2% with an intake between six and seven grams experienced these outcomes.
• 3.3% with an intake above seven grams experienced these outcomes.
That is, those with the lowest sodium consumption, which is consistent with governmental guidelines, were the most likely to die and suffer harmful cardiovascular events.
This might not be surprising, as sodium is an essential mineral.
Sodium is critical for all of the following:
– Maintaining normal blood pressure and blood volume.
– Generating nerve impulses for normal nerve function.
– Contributing to muscle contractions.
– Helping to balance electrolytes.
– Plays a part in the metabolic processes that supply you with energy.
– Ensures that your body maintains a good balance between retaining necessary water and dumping surplus water.
Another interesting finding was that people with a high sodium intake were less likely to have high blood pressure if they also consumed plenty of potassium. Repeated studies have in fact proven that loading up on food-based potassium is more important than cutting out salt.
So, stock up on dark leafy greens, white beans, salmon, squash, avocados, and bananas, and then you can add your healthy Himalayan pink salt to your food if you like.
Regardless of how much salt you consume; if your blood pressure is high, you must take actions to lower it.