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BHF - Less salt and more potassium for a healthier diet

5 Apr 2013 10:36 AM

Cutting down on salt while increasing levels of potassium in our diet could have major health benefits, research suggests.

Researchers found a modest reduction in salt for four or more weeks led to significant falls in blood pressure in people with both raised and normal blood pressure.

Lower sodium intake was also associated with reduced risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease in adults.  

Making sure you manage five portions of fruit and veg a day is an easy way to boost potassium levels

On the other hand, increased potassium intake was found to reduce blood pressure and was linked to a 24 percent lower risk of stroke in adults.

BHF's Senior Heart Health Dietitian, Victoria Taylor, said: “This research suggests holding back on salt and eating more food containing potassium may be a recipe for a healthier heart.

“Making sure you manage five portions of fruit and veg a day is an easy way to boost potassium levels. There are plenty of other potassium-rich foods out there too, such as pulses, fish and shellfish, nuts, seeds and milk.

“But don’t forget that what’s on your plate isn’t the full picture. Keeping an eye on your alcohol intake and keeping physically active will also help to reduce your blood pressure and protect your heart.”

This research was published in the British Medical Journal.