The Salt Solution: Benefits of a Lower Sodium Diet

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Most of the information on nutrition labels can help you stay healthy. Heeding one number in particular — sodium levels — just might save your life.

Salt, which is sodium chloride, has long been linked to high blood pressure. And cardiovascular disease and other complications from hypertension. In a study published in 2007 in the British Medical Journal, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston contacted volunteers who had taken part in two studies of low-sodium diets, one done in 1985 and the other in 1990.

“Our survey showed that many of the participants were still following low-sodium advice,” said epidemiologist Nancy Cook, ScD, who led the study. And Cook’s additional findings showed they were the healthier for it. The research team found that reducing sodium slashed Fruits and vegetables are the leading source of this crucial nutrient. Shopping in the produce aisle has another advantage: you don’t have to worry about reading labels.