By Wendy Haaf
According to a US study, adding salt to your food at the table may shorten your lifespan.
Researchers pored over food questionnaires and urinary sodium test results that had been collected from more than 500,000 adults for a national UK research database and then followed their records to determine which participants were no longer living.
During follow-up—nine years on average—18,474 participants died prematurely (defined as before the age of 75). These early deaths were 28 per cent more common among those who frequently salted their food than among those who never or rarely did. This translated to a lower life expectancy at age 50: 1.5 fewer years for women and 2.28 for men.
High consumption of potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, however, seemed to soften this added risk.
It’s worth noting that adding salt at the table may not on its own have caused these excess deaths: home cooking may taste bland to people who eat a lot of processed and prepared foods, which are typically very high in sodium.
Source: European Heart Journal