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Using salt substitutes reduces risk of high blood pressure by 40%

Using salt substitutes reduces risk of high blood pressure by 40%


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Excessive salt intake is known to be a risk factor for developing high blood pressure.Nadine Greif/Stocksea United
  • Potassium-rich salt substitutes do not increase the risk of high blood pressure in older people, a new study has found.
  • Reducing salt in your diet is one of the most effective ways to lower your risk of high blood pressure, but it can be difficult to consistently reduce salt.
  • In this study, salt substitutes did not increase the risk of developing hypotension, which can make older adults more likely to fall and injure themselves.

Replacing regular table salt with potassium-rich salt substitutes reduced the occurrence of the following symptoms: high blood pressure In older people, it does not cause symptoms such as: Low blood pressurea new study found.

Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, which increases their risk of heart disease and stroke. according to to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reducing sodium in your diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of high blood pressure.

However, the effect of sodium on the taste of food, large amount of sodium It is found in many processed foods and restaurant and fast food meals.

“Our findings provide a way for people to protect their health and minimize potential cardiovascular risks while still enjoying the perks of adding delicious flavor to their favorite meals. This represents a breakthrough,” said study author Dr. said Yangfeng Wu, executive director of the Peking University Clinical Research Institute in Beijing, China. news release.

The study was published in the journal Feb. 12. Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mm Hg/80 mm Hg. A systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129 (diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mm Hg) is considered hypertensive or prehypertensive.

Stage 1 hypertension is defined As:

  • Systolic blood pressure (the top number on a blood pressure measurement) is greater than 130 mm Hg
  • Diastolic blood pressure (lower blood pressure measurement) is greater than 80 mm Hg

Stage 2 hypertension is defined as:

  • Systolic blood pressure (the top number on a blood pressure measurement) is greater than 140 mm Hg
  • Diastolic blood pressure (lower blood pressure measurement) is greater than 90 mm Hg

The study included 611 people aged 55 and older residing in 48 long-term care facilities in China. The average age of participants was 71 years, and three-quarters were male.

Eligible participants must have a blood pressure reading of no more than 140mmHg/90mmHg and must not be taking high blood pressure medication at the start of the study.

The researchers randomly assigned half of the facilities to use a salt substitute instead of regular salt, while the remaining facilities continued to use regular salt.

Typical table salt is almost entirely sodium chloride. It may also contain iodine (for thyroid health) and, in the case of sea salt, trace amounts of other minerals. The salt substitutes used in the study contained about one-third less sodium chloride than table salt.

The salt substitute also contained 25% potassium chloride, which does not raise blood pressure, 12% seasonings from dried foods such as mushrooms, lemons, seaweed, hawthorn and wild dates, and trace amounts of amino acids.

“Salt substitutes can be a valuable tool for adhering to dietary restrictions and promoting better health outcomes by mimicking the taste of sodium without the negative effects,” said Dr. Maria Carolina Delgado-Lelièvrean assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami Health System, was not involved in the new study.

After two years, researchers found that people who used salt substitutes were 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure compared to those who used regular salt.

Additionally, there was no increased risk of hypotensive episodes or low blood pressure in people using salt substitutes.

Older people are more likely to have low blood pressure because they often have multiple chronic health problems and may be taking medications to treat high blood pressure and other conditions that lower blood pressure, the authors say. is writing.

Low blood pressure To increase Elderly people are at risk of falls, which can lead to injury or death.

“The results of this study suggest that incorporating salt alternatives into the diet could potentially reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and related cardiovascular disease without posing additional health risks. ,” Delgado-Lelièvre told Healthline.

Wu said in the release that salt substitutes can be very beneficial for people who are already battling high blood pressure.

“therefore, [the use of salt substitutes is] “It is a desirable population strategy for the prevention and management of hypertension and cardiovascular disease,” he said.

However, Delgado-Lelievre cautioned against applying the study's results to people who already have high blood pressure.

“Further research, particularly in people with high blood pressure, is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of salt replacement in this group,” she said.

This study had several limitations, including that the study results were not specified before the study began. However, the findings are consistent with those of the parent study and what is currently known about salt substitutes and blood pressure, the researchers said.

Additionally, the researchers were unable to follow up all participants for two years, so a “significant portion” of blood pressure measurements were missing. However, these missing values ​​occurred randomly, and multiple analyzes supported the robustness of the results, the researchers wrote.

While individuals can choose to use salt substitutes, wider adoption of these products will require collaboration between public health authorities, food manufacturers and consumers, Delgado Lelièvre said.

Educational campaigns and policy initiatives aimed at consumers could also promote the use of salt substitutes among different consumer groups, she said.

“By raising awareness and providing access to alternatives, these efforts can have a significant impact on hypertension prevention and overall cardiovascular health,” it added.

However, salt substitutes are not the only way to reduce sodium in your diet. Here are some other ideas.

  • Read and compare nutrition labels and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium per serving.
  • Be aware that seasonings and salad dressings are high in sodium. Instead, look for low-sodium or low-sodium versions or make your own low-sodium salad dressing.
  • Choose canned vegetables without added salt and buy frozen vegetables without high-salt sauces.
  • Use flavorful ingredients in your cooking, such as herbs, spices, onions, garlic, citrus, and vinegar. These can replace some or all of the salt in your recipe.
  • Roast that brings out the natural flavor of vegetables. You can also do this with vegetables you add to soups and stews.
  • When eating at a restaurant, look for low-salt options and ask for your meal to be prepared without extra salt. Also, ask for sauces, dressings, and gravy on the side, and use sparingly.

In a study of older adults in long-term care, researchers randomly assigned facilities to use either a potassium-rich salt alternative or regular salt.

After two years, those who used salt substitutes had a 40% lower risk of developing high blood pressure than those who used regular salt.

Also, using salt substitutes did not increase the likelihood of developing a hypotensive episode. This is associated with an increased risk of injury and death from falls in older adults.




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