A study conducted on more than twelve thousand Americans, over a period of 15 years, indicated that maintaining a diet high in salt may be associated with an increased risk for dying young,
A feature on CNN shared that according to the American Heart Association, sodium intake should be limited to 1,500 mg or less. In a report by Elena V. Kuklina, M.D., and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University, and the Harvard School of Public Health, it was determined that those with the highest sodium to potassium ratio had a 50 percent higher mortality risk, compared with the group of study participants that had the lowest ratio.
Dr. Kuklina shared, however, that: “We probably should take into account the whole diet and take a more comprehensive look… Looking at a single micronutrient, we might just miss the whole picture.”
Dr. Kuklina, a nutritional epidemiologist at the CDC, recommended a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium, citing such good sources as bananas, baked potatoes, and raisins. A diet that is rich in processed foods, on the other hand, is more likely to contain more sodium, and less potassium.
In response to calls for the reduction of sodium intake in order to lead healthier lives, several organizations, including major food companies, have come together as partners in the National Salt Reduction Initiative. Their goal is to reduce the sodium content in processed foods by 25 percent, by 2014.