Doctors have found surprising results after running significant testing on the effects of a low salt diet and urging people to change the way they think about the seasoning.
While it has long been assumed that a low-salt diet is good for everyone, researches have found that it is actually just as harmful has a high-salt diet.
The doctors working on the study say that a low-salt diet can lead to a range of dangerous health issues, including heart attack, stroke, and death, compared with an average salt intake.
The recommended daily amount of salt is 1.15–2.3 grams for an adult.
However, most Australians consume about 10 grams per day – a lot more than the recommended amount.
While doctors say it is important for people who suffer from high blood pressure to reduce their salt intake, they say people with normal blood pressure should stick to the recommended daily amount and no less.
This creates a kind of Goldilocks situation where people really need to eat just the right amount of salt if they want to avoid dangerous heart and health conditions.
A low salt intake is considered to be less than 1 teaspoon per day – an amount which can do you more harm than good, according to the researches.
The study’s lead author Andrew Mente says the team’s findings are “extremely important” for people’s health.
“While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels,” he says.
“Our findings are important because they show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets.”
Based on their results, Dr Mente suggests that strategies to reduce salt consumption should be targeted at those with high blood pressure who have a high salt intake.
Furthermore, the research team says the results indicate the current daily recommendation for salt intake may be set too low.
“This study adds to our understanding of the relationship between salt intake and health, and questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low sodium intake in the entire population,” says study co-author Martin O’Donnell.
“An approach that recommends salt in moderation, particularly focused on those with hypertension, appears more in-line with current evidence.”