New Study Reaffirms Risk of Too Much Sodium for Heart Health
For decades, we have known the risk of high sodium intake for heart health. However, most of us are still consuming well over the recommended daily sodium intake, which is no more than 2300mg. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has recently reconfirmed the heightened risk of consuming too much sodium for heart health.
Sodium and Heart Health
In the body, water travels to areas with high sodium levels to maintain equilibrium and avoid dehydration. When there is too much sodium in the bloodstream, water enters and increases the overall volume of blood. The increased volume increases blood pressure, which, in turn, increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Potassium is an important nutrient in heart health because it mitigates some of the effects of sodium. Thus, it’s important to increase potassium intake while decreasing sodium intake.
Although the risks of high sodium intake have been known for years, studies have always been less-than-ideal, with faulty methods and inconclusive results. This recently published study controlled for all variables and, once again, proved the negative role of sodium in heart disease. After accounting for other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking and diabetes, high sodium intake increased cardiovascular disease by 60% compared to those with low sodium intake. Increased potassium levels also had significant protective effects against cardiovascular disease.
What Can We Do About It?
Most of our daily sodium intake comes from processed foods. Foods such as deli meats and microwave meals contain far more sodium than we need in a day. Try to avoid or limit your consumption of these foods and stick to whole foods instead. MagicKitchen.com offers a variety of delicious low-sodium meals, from beef lasagna to complete breakfasts. That way, you have the convenience of ready-made meals without harming your heart health! Increase your daily potassium intake by incorporating potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, spinach, avocados, and squash.