Consuming an excessive amount of salt regularly–be it in the form of increased salt in your daily meals, packaged food, pickles, and other preserved products such as cheese and dips etc. –is not good for health. Excess salt consumption, in many cases, can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension.
In a study titled Adding salt to foods and hazard of premature mortality published in the European Heart Journal, researchers found that the frequency of adding salt to foods was associated with the hazard of premature mortality and reduced life expectancy.
However, should you swap normal salt for low-sodium salt if you have high blood pressure? Research suggests conflicting data on the same. Recent studies have revealed that salt substitutes containing potassium chloride, also known as low-sodium salt, is a potential strategy to reduce sodium intake, increase potassium intake, and thereby lower blood pressure.
According to a recent study titled “Potassium-Enriched Salt Substitutes as a Means to Lower Blood Pressure” by the researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in United States, there is “empirical evidence” that suggests the replacement of sodium chloride with potassium-enriched salt substitutes lowers blood pressure. In a completely contradictory finding, the researchers also clarified that the consumption of low-sodium salts, in some cases, may cause cardiac problems, especially in people with conditions such as chronic kidney disease.
Additionally, the report mentioned that more research needs to be done on the effects of consuming low-sodium salt, especially high levels of Potassium in the blood. ”There is a need for additional empirical research on the effect of increasing dietary potassium and potassium-enriched salt substitutes on serum potassium levels and the risk of hyperkalemia”, the report published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Noting a few positives of low-sodium salt, the study said that salt substitutes can reduce dietary sodium intake and increase potassium intake, making it safe–in moderation– for patients with high blood pressure.