Studies Reveal Salt Can Be a Killer

A chef’s best friend may be the leading cause for heart attacks and strokes, studies show

The dangers of salt seem to becoming more and more apparent these days, studies have shown. In addition to reports about the excess amount of salt in toddlers' food recently, a new study has determined that an estimated 2.3 million deaths from heart attacks, strokes, and other heart-related diseases could be due to excess salt consumption.

The studies combined global survey data on sodium intake and figures on death from heart-related conditions in 2010 to determine that 15 percent of heart attacks and strokes could have been caused from eating too much salt. While there was a strong correlation between heart diseases and the consumption of salt, authors of the study were only able to find an association between the two, and not a cause-and-effect relationship.

Even so, the deaths were classified as premature, occurring in people 69 years of age or younger, and the studies also found that they were prevalent in low-income families. Just as the toddler studies demonstrated, high salt consumption is usually due to eating too many processed foods, and the authors of the study hope to promote healthier, low-sodium diets with these findings. 

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Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce