Extra salt in food at the table could lead to premature death

If you are one of those people who need extra salt in their food and add it on the table right before consuming the food, then you need to control that habit as a new study has shown that extra salt in food at the table is linked to premature death.

According to the study of more than 500,000 people, findings of which are published in the European Heart Journal, people who add salt to their food at the table are at a 28 per cent higher risk of dying prematurely as compared to those who have never or rarely added salt to the food at the table. As per the study, this increased risk of premature death suggests that one more person in every hundred may die prematurely in the 40 to 69 age group.

Researchers found that at the age of 50, 1.5 years and 2.28 years were knocked off the life expectancy of women and men, respectively, who always added salt to their food compared to those who never, or rarely, did. The study is the first of its kind to assess and establish a link between adding salt in food at the table and premature death. The findings provide novel evidence to support recommendations to modify eating behaviours for improving health.

Even a modest reduction in sodium intake, by adding less or no salt to food at the table, is likely to result in substantial health benefits, especially when it is achieved in the general population, researcher say.

For the study researchers analysed data from 501,379 people taking part in the UK Biobank study. The registrants who joined between 2006 and 2010 were asked to chose whether they added salt to their foods (i) never/rarely, (ii) sometimes, (iii) usually, (iv) always, or (v) prefer not to answer.

As well as finding that always adding salt to foods was linked to a higher risk of premature death from all causes and a reduction in life expectancy, the researchers found that these risks tended to be reduced slightly in people who consumed the highest amounts of fruit and vegetables, although these results were not statistically significant.

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