Can Salt Cause Heart Failure?

By Medical Expert Team

Apr 27 , 2018 | 2 min read

Salt is a major component of food; however, consuming too much salt can have negative effects on the body, including high blood pressure levels. Furthermore, elevated blood pressure increases the risk of developing coronary Heart disease that may also lead to Heart failure. So, to keep the Heart’s health intact, it is important to limit the amount of salt each day.

According to our experts, high blood pressure puts additional force against the arterial walls which can subsequently damage the arteries by narrowing and hardening them with fatty deposits called plaque.

Heart disease and Heart transplant incidence are showing a steep increase in India, thus it is important to have the knowledge and a better understanding of factors that can cause slow damage to the Heart.

How much salt is too much?

Adults should consume about one teaspoon of salt each day – that is less than 6 grams. This includes salt that one adds when cooking and at the table, as well as salt that is already present in packed and ready-made food.

Dr Ritiwck Raj Bhuyan, Principal Consultant & In-charge, CTVS, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, says, according to their age, the salt consumption quantity of children should be less than adults.

Age Max. Sodium Per Day Max. Salt Per Day
1-3 Years 0.8g 2g
4-6 Years 1.2g 3g
7-10 Years  2g 5g
11 Years and Older 2.5g 6g
Adults 2.5g 6g

As per the British Heart Foundation, some simple steps can reduce salt intake and improve long-term health. Moreover, WHO states that consuming a moderate amount of salt (less than 6 g) per day helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, coronary Heart attack, blood pressure and stroke.

What is hidden salt?

Around three-quarters of the salt consumed is through packaged and processed food. In addition, everyday food items like cereals and bread also have added salt, and their frequent consumption can add up to overall use. The amount of salt varies from brand to brand, so checking the label before making a purchase decision can help one choose healthier options.

How to balance salt intake?

Most people have a misconception that low salt food is bland and tasteless; however, this is not true. There are a lot of things one can do to consume tasty yet healthy food. Some of these include:

  1. Prefer packaged food with low-salt options and ingredients
  2. Check the label for colour coding to identify the amount of salt (red – high in salt, amber – medium salt, green – low in salt)
  3. Add less salt while cooking food and no salt at all at the table
  4. Use lemon juice, pepper, garlic, spices, and herbs to add flavour to food
  5. Use less packaged cooking sauces (especially soy sauce) – they have a high salt component
  6. Swapping salty snacks with fruits and vegetables
  7. Avoid processed foods, bacon, ready-to-eat meals, cheese and other food items that have a high salt level
  8. Prefer home-cooked meals as much as possible

Taste buds adapt quickly, and the above tips can help in the long run.

Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team

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