According to The Guardian, the study did not definitively rule out other factors, such as salt consumption as an indicator of a less healthy lifestyle, but the team that conducted the study said the evidence was convincing enough for people to consider avoiding seasoning. tables.
“To my knowledge, our study is the first to assess the relationship between the addition of salt to food and premature death,” said Professor LU Qi of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans, who led the paper.
“Even a modest reduction in sodium intake, by adding less or no salt to table foods, is likely to result in substantial health benefits, especially when achieved among the general population,” he added. Qi.
The findings were based on research involving more than 500,000 people, who were monitored for an average of nine years. When they joined the study between 2006 and 2010, people were asked, through a questionnaire, if they added salt to their food and how often they did so.
Salt intake is difficult to accurately monitor, as many processed foods contain high levels of salt, and direct measurement by urine tests does not necessarily provide a result of overall consumption. Among the Western population, about 70% of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods, and 8-20% comes from salt added to meals. However, the addition of salt is a very good indicator of a person’s preference for salty foods, so the team focused their analysis on this measurement.
Compared to those who never or rarely added salt, those who always seasoned their food had a 28% higher risk of dying prematurely. At age 50, men and women who always added salt had a life expectancy of 2.3 years and 1.5 years shorter, respectively.
Other factors were also considered in this study, including age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, diet, and medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. .
Professor Annika Rosengren, a senior researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, who was not involved in the research, said it was difficult to identify the “optimal point” in terms of health for a particular person.
“So far, what the collective evidence about salt seems to indicate is that healthy people who consume normal levels of salt do not have to worry,” said the senior researcher.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended for this group. However, those at high risk for heart disease should cut back on the amount of salt, according to Professor Annika Rosengren.
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