A recent study found that switching to a salt substitute may reduce the risk of stroke in some people, particularly those over 60 with a history of high blood pressure or a previous stroke.A total of 21,000 people were studied, with half of them using regular salt and the other half using a salt substitute.The study was conducted in rural China, where people have a lot of control over their diets because most meals are made from scratch. As a result, researchers were concerned that the study would not be comparable to other parts of the world where people buy pre-made foods.
“The biggest barrier for lowering sodium intake in the United States is that much of our sodium intake is not under our control,” said Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, FAAC, a cardiologist based in Minneapolis. Because most meals in rural China are prepared from scratch, sodium intake is under the control of the food preparer. Americans eat a lot more pre-packaged and processed foods. And many of those items are high in sodium even before we pick up the salt shaker. Sodium can also conceal itself almost anywhere.”In theory, the salt substitute could still be useful for anyone looking for a healthier alternative anywhere in the world. It can still aid in the improvement of cardiovascular health and blood pressure.
It would be especially beneficial for those who have made the switch to a more wholesome diet made from scratch with few processed foods. There are numerous substitutes available, each made with a unique combination of ingredients. Some are made without potassium chloride, others from potassium, and still others are a sodium-free alternative to regular salt brands.
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