Sodium can be a silent killer in your diet. Even though little bit of salt intake is essential, The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day.

A new study conducted over more than two decades has further backed research associating less sodium in the diet with lower mortality rates. Scientists at Harvard School of Public Health found that people who consumed less salt had a 25 percent lower risk of dying compared to those who ate more.

"Consuming lower levels of sodium, as advocated by the American Heart Association and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, will lead to lower blood pressure, lower risk of cardiovascular disease and lower subsequent mortality," lead researcher Nancy Cook said, according to HealthDay.

After 24 years of data collection, Cook’s research team has concluded that people who consumed less than the recommended amount of daily salt had a 25 percent lower risk of dying, compared with those who consumed almost 1.5 teaspoons — or about 3,600 mg/day. The first trial was conducted from 1987 to 1990 and the second from 1990 to 1995, HealthDay reported.

"Much of the sodium we consume is found in processed food," Cook said. "The FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] has now recommended a gradual reduction in sodium content in many such foods, which should lead to lower rates of hypertension as well as cardiovascular disease and deaths.”

Even before these findings, scientists had accepted that a high salt diet can have adverse health effects. According to Cook, her study added additional support to “a direct relationship of sodium intake with later mortality over 20 years of follow-up.”

Source: Cook NR, Appel LJ, Whelton PK. Sodium Intake And All-Cause Mortality Over 20 Years In The Trials Of Hypertension Prevention. Journal Of The American College Of Cardiology. 2016.

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Too Much Salt: How A Diet Too High In Sodium Can Affect Your Heart, Brain, And Even Bone Health

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