A study suggests salt might not be so bad for heart disease patients

(Mirror Daily, United States) – After years of hearing that we have to reduce salt intake, it turns out that actually less salt could be bad for your heart.

When sick we are always recommended to follow some sort of diet that’s poorer or richer in a certain substance, depending on our body’s needs. If your calcium levels are low, maybe your doctor will advise you to drink more milk, or if your cholesterol is high you will be advised to go easy on pork.

Patients with heart disease are usually advised by their doctors to reduce salt intake, but a new study shows that doing this might not help after all, but even harm the patient or increase his or her chances of being hospitalized.

Why is salt bad for heart disease patients? It makes the body retain water which means additional fluid will go into blood vessels and the blood is pumped by the heart. But in patients with heart disease, the heart pumps a lot slower, which allows both water and blood to build up in their feet, legs and lungs. Therefore, it only makes sense that doctors recommend patients to be careful on excess of salt.

According to the new study, although it is still not recommended to have a higher salt intake if you are a heart disease patient, it looks like salt doesn’t really harm you either. However, it is advised that scientists do further research on the matter.

The study was conducted over a period of three years on 833 patients, 130 of them following a sodium-free diet. The salt-diet group was compared to a group of 130 patients who didn’t have any salt restrictions. The findings showed that a higher number – 42 percent – of people following the diet ended up hospitalized or dying, whereas only 26 percent of the ones who didn’t follow the diet encountered these problems.

Overall, patients who followed a low-sodium diet had 85 percent more chances to get sicker than the ones who didn’t limit their salt intake. The findings are an eye-opener that shows us salt might not be that bad after all and further research is required to make sure this is right.

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