Three new papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine look at the cardiovascular risks of salt consumption, with some research saying too much salt is bad for the heart and other research saying there’s a sweet spot between too little and too much that is best. This has led to a range of headlines from “Pour On The Salt?” to “Death By Salt?“—adding to the confusion about whether we need to be cutting our consumption or forgetting about it.
Our bodies need salt, but if we consume it in excess, we increase our risk for hypertension, which can ultimately lead to heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
One of the studies had a particularly interesting finding, showing that people who consumed more than 6,000 mg a day and people who consumed less than 3,000 a day had a greater risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. People consuming a moderate amount in the 3,000-6,000 mg range had the lowest number of heart-related events. (The AHA limit—1,500 mg of sodium—is half the lower-limit of what the moderate group consumed.)
I – Word Understanding
sweet spot – the best point or amount
range – between the lowest and highest
II – Have Your Say
1. Did you know the salt contents of your favorite Japanese food?
1 piece of umeboshi = 690 to 840 mg
1 cup of miso soup = 630 ,mg
1 cup of tsukemono = 720 mg
1 cup of natto (175 g) = 12 mg
2. How do you find nutrition information?
276 Serious Salt Confusion: New Research On How Much Salt You Should Eat