We were always aware of the risks of a high sodium diet. A new study revealed that the combination of high sodium and low potassium in our diet can increase the risks of cardiovascular disease and even cause death. The lead researcher Dr. Frank B. Hu, who is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says that, the independent action of the two minerals, as high salt or low potassium is not as risky as a combination of the two.
Increased salt intake is one of the causes of high blood pressure. Potassium helps to counterbalance the effects of salt on blood pressure. High salt intake can increase the risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases by 20%, and high potassium diet can reduce the risk by 20%. Therefore we must reduce our salt intake, which is usually high in the processed food. As fruits and vegetables are rich sources of potassium, we must stress on these natural food in our diet. Besides, fruits and vegetables are low in sodium too.
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) encourages people to eat potassium rich food and restrict salty diet. As per the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, salt intake must be limited to less than 2300mg/day on an average, and less than 1500mg for those who are above 50, hypertensive, or suffer from renal ailments or diabetes.