Stressing for the need to maintain a lower salt diet over a lifetime, significant research has revealed that people who gradually increase the amount of salt in diets also face high blood pressure risk as people who habitually eat a high-salt diet.
In a Japanese study of more than 4,000 people who had normal blood pressure, almost 23 percent developed high blood pressure over a three year period.
Those who ate the most salt were the most likely to have high blood pressure by the end of the study.
Participants who gradually increased their sodium intake also showed gradually higher blood pressure.
At the conclusion of the study, the people consuming the least amount of sodium were consuming 2,925 mg per day and those consuming the most sodium were consuming 5,644 mg per day.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 1,500 mg sodium intake a day.
“It did not matter whether their sodium levels were high at the beginning of the study or if they were low to begin with, then gradually increased over the years. Both groups were at greater risk of developing high blood pressure,” explained Tomonori Sugiura, assistant professor at the Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Nagoya, Japan.
The results confirm the findings of other studies that show strong associations between salt in the diet and high blood pressure.
“Reducing sodium intake can save lives, save money and improve heart health — no matter what background or nationality a person is,” the authors noted in a paper appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
In some people, sodium increases blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, creating an added burden to your heart.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks, stroke and heart failure.