Cutting Salt Helps Blood Vessels Relax

A new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the benefits of reducing salt may extend beyond heart health. Australian researchers examined 29 overweight and obese men and women with normal blood pressure. Participants were randomly assigned a low-salt diet or an American diet for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, they switched to the other diet, followed by 2 weeks of no intervention. Findings revealed people on a low-salt diet had lower systolic blood pressure and improved flow-mediated dilation (FMD), which is blood vessels ability to relax; FoodNavigator investigates.

Salt is not part of a healthy diet. According to Dr. Fuhrman, salt increases the body’s excretion of calcium, leading to bone loss and osteoporosis. And salt is very dangerous for vegans and vegetarians. It boosts risk boosts their risk of hemorrhagic stroke risk.

But a different kind of salt was recently named healthy! Salt Lake City, Utah is the fittest city in the United States. Sorry, shameless tie-in!

Image credit: a shadow of my future self

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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Steve - February 2, 2009 12:09 PM

Hi Gerry
I definitely notice how salty prepared soups and cans of baked beans and soyburgers are now. Wow, incredible amounts of salt. Ever looked at how much salt is in soy sauce, it's unbelievable (about 1/2 teaspoon per tablespoon)!

I am now basically sticking with things like tins of plain black beans, which you can rinse off.

I put some salt on top of the stove (nominally a month supply), I use some for eating (not cooking). In January I used about 5-6 teaspoons.

I'll add a little more when doing long bike rides in July, seems reasonable to me.

Cheers, Steve

Ilana - February 2, 2009 8:59 PM

I'm not sure this makes sense to me. After all, salt is a necessary mineral in the body for proper hydration. I wouldn't say a high salt diet makes sense for anyone, but we can't live without salt entirely. What is Dr. Fuhrman's approach to this issue?

Sara - February 2, 2009 10:01 PM

Ilana- Gr. Fuhrman has pointed out that natural food contains sodium- enough to meet the body's requirements. Think about celery and tomatoes for example.

Ilana - February 3, 2009 5:00 PM

Hmmm ... maybe true for sea vegetables. I'll think about that one.

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