A shortage of salt in people with heart disease or diabetes may be as dangerous as an excess of it.

A new study conducted by Dr. Martin O’Donnell, associate clinical professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and other experts, shows that too much or too little salt increases the risk of death and hospitalization in heart patients.

Moderate intake of salt

After years in which everyone seemed to agree that people should reduce salt intake, this study after experts began to debate whether a lower intake of salt is really good for everyone or not. While reducing the amount of salt in your meals is still very important (more than 6,000 dangerous or 7,000 milligrams of sodium per day), according to this new analysis of the positive or negative effects of salt, people who already consume moderate amounts of this may not have to further reduce your intake.


This means that the experts who participated in this study have seen that could have a moderate amount of salt best that people should consume safely. That while reducing salt does decrease the blood pressure May also increase the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and other risk factors for heart disease. Although until now sodium intake associated with an increased risk of heart-related deaths in the latter study, the results have been somewhat different.

Of the 30,000 men and women with heart disease or at high risk of heart disease in the study and observed excretion of sodium and potassium for four years, the experts came to the conclusion that people excrete more levels sodium high midrange values ​​had an increased risk of death from heart disease, heart attack, stroke and hospitalization for heart failure, but also those who excrete low levels to the middle range were also at greater risk dying from heart disease or being hospitalized for heart failure.

The importance of potassium

However, when researchers looked at levels of potassium in these individuals analyzed in the study, and with serious heart problems, found that higher levels of nutrient excretion was associated with a lower risk of stroke. This consideration of potassium intake (rich in fruits and vegetables), it could mean a major breakthrough that would obviate the discussion about sodium. The study’s researchers stress that they will not give the impression that too little sodium is bad, but to consume the appropriate amount of sodium balance is beneficial.

Recommended amounts

The new dietary guidelines now recommend that people from the two-year limit daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams, and that after 51 years, and all who have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should be considered reduced to 1.500 mg. a day.

The table salt is made of sodium and chloride (sodium chloride) from which the body needs a certain amount to function properly as it helps in the function of nerves and muscles. It also helps maintain a proper balance of fluids in the body. The kidneys are the ones who control the amount of sodium in the body, so if you have too, and the kidneys can not eliminate it accumulates in the blood and can cause high blood pressure, and this in turn other problems of health. One of the keys to eat healthily would be to choose foods low salt and sodium. Doctors recommend eating less than 2.4 grams per day, which equals approximately one teaspoon of table salt per day.