How many times have you tasted something on the dining table and grimaced at the bland-tasting food, only to add extra salt to it?
If the answer is ‘more times than you can recall’, then you need to rethink your life (and food) choices pronto!
According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, frequently adding extra salt to your food after it has already been cooked can shorten your life span by almost two years.
Health experts have always advised against the over-consumption of salt to avoide heart-health issues and high blood pressure, so it comes as little surprise that researchers have managed to find a direct link between our sodium intake and life spans.
The study, led by Professor Lu Qi of Tulane University of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (New Orleans, USA), revealed that the data of over 5,00,000 people was analysed for the team to come to the conclusion. They found out that, compared to those who never or rarely added salt, people who always added salt to their food had a 28 percent increased risk of dying prematurely.
“Adding salt to foods at the table is a common eating behaviour that is directly related to an individual’s long-term preference for salty-tasting foods and habitual salt intake. In the Western diet, adding salt at the table accounts for 6-20 percent of total salt intake and provides a unique way to evaluate the association between habitual sodium intake and the risk of death,” wrote Professor Qi.
The researchers also factored in variables like sex, age, race, BMI, and lifestyles (whether extensive physical activity is involved or not), before coming to this conclusion.
While the study is awaiting further clinical trials for a more conclusive analysis of the impact of sodium intake on our health and mortality and the optimal levels of salt for our diets, the researchers suggest off-setting the effects of sodium in our diet by consuming more potassium-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables.