The findings showed that while reducing sodium intake did lower blood pressure in some people, it also caused significant increases in cholesterol, triglyceride and other compounds that can have an adverse effect on health.
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease but so is high cholesterol and elevated levels of triglyceride – a type of energy rich fat found in dairy products, meat and cooking oils.
In response to the findings, Tracy Parker, our Heart Health Dietitian, said: “Cutting back on sodium is a well established dietary change recommended for people with raised blood pressure. And this research does show that reducing the sodium in your diet lowers your blood pressure.
These findings aren’t conclusive but they do highlight the complexities of how diet impacts on our risk of cardiovascular disease
“However, the researchers also suggest that reducing sodium might lead to an increase in cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, and also affect hormones that could lead to an increase in blood pressure – cancelling some of benefits of eating less sodium.
“These findings aren’t conclusive but they do highlight the complexities of how diet impacts on our risk of cardiovascular disease. As the scientists themselves say we’ll need more research to confirm these findings, and understand better how they might need to be interpreted into practical guidelines.
“In the meantime, as most of the sodium we eat comes from salt, we should follow the current recommendation, which for adults is to consume no more than about one teaspoon or 6g of salt per day.”
The research was published in the American Journal of Hypertension.
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