Researchers from around the globe released their findings today after analyzing the link between high blood pressure and salt and potassium intake and the news is good for everyone except the salt industry. Their findings indicate if you moderately reduce sodium intake and increase potassium by three servings a day, you will stand a chance to live much longer.
These changes in people’s diets would theoretically and drastically reduce strokes and heart attacks attributed to high blood pressure because the BP numbers would decrease. By the way, anything over 140/90 would be considered high blood pressure and it has the propensity to begin stretching and damaging the arterial walls, causing microscopic tears that may fill up with trapped plaque and white blood cells. This causes blockage and clots eventually and leads to heart attacks and strokes.
Scientists say an estimated 2.5 million people who die each year can prevent death if they merely cut their salt intake in half. Ideally, you also want to increase your potassium by eating 3 servings a day aside from what you are probably eating right now such as an orange, a banana, and 1 serving of spinach.
One of the first solutions that comes to mind right away is for the fast food and restaurant industry in general to begin cutting their salt content in their menu items. If you think about it, it wouldn’t cost the restaurant industry much to do this and they would win big in the end. This is because people would live longer and and continue as restaurant customers for more years on the average, effectively spending much more money in these restaurants in the long run.
In the U.K., food companies have already started to cut down on salt content within their foods and it has not resulted in loss of sales at all. Experts suggest the U.S. needs to follow the U.K.’s example and cut out much of the salt out of their foods to make a difference that will benefit everyone.
Other recent studies have shown that by gradually reducing sodium intake in the United States, in a span of 10 years, up to 500,000 lives can be saved!
Approximately one-third of all American adults suffer from hypertension and only half of these are controlling it through medication. It’s interesting to note that almost 3/4 of people who have heart attacks, strokes, and chronic heart failure suffer from hypertension.
Since most Americans are somewhere around 3,400 milligrams of sodium intake a day, they will need to cut that number substantially; the U.S. government advises us to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams for those over 2 years of age up to 50 ears of age, and 1,500 milligrams for those who are 51 or older as well as people with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and people who are African American.