Saturday, August 27, 2011

Too Much Salt, Not Enough Potassium Linked to Heart Disease and Mortality

A recent study involiving over 12,000 people in the US found that higher sodium intake was associated with increased mortality from cardiovascular disease.  In contrast, higher potassium intake was associated with lower mortality risk.

In general, the average sodium: potassium ratio in North America is 5:1 ie. 5 times more salt than potassium, but the optimal intake is 1:2 (twice as much potassium as sodium).

So what does this mean for you?  Try to limit sodium intake to 2400mg per day (about 1 tsp), less if you have high blood pressure.  Also, aim for 5-6 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.  Fruit and vegetables are the main source of potassium in our diet (ex. bananas, cantaloupe, avocado).

Yours in health,
Dr. Tara Andresen, ND

Dr. Tara Andresen is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor (ND) practicing in Toronto, Ontario. She follows an evidence-based approach to naturopathic medicine, incorporating the latest scientific research into effective treatment plans for a wide variety of health concerns.

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