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Timea Krauszová
July 12, 2022, 8:30pm
Reading time: 1:30

Do You Add Salt To Served Meals? You Are Shortening Your Life By Up To Two Years, New Study Says

According to the research team, the evidence obtained is convincing enough for people to at least consider limiting the use of salt at the table.

Timea Krauszová
July 12, 2022, 8:30pm
Reading time: 1:30
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British scientists have confirmed that adding salt to meals at the table shortens life expectancy. Women are losing a year and a half on average, men up to two years. This was reported by The Guardian. They are so convinced of the harmfulness of salting that they advise people to at least limit salting at the table.

They observed people for four years

As part of Biobank's research, the eating habits of roughly half a million people were monitored for four years. They took part in the study between 2006 and 2010 and were asked via a touchscreen questionnaire if they salted their food at the table and how often they did it.

 

"To my knowledge, our study is the first to evaluate the relationship between added salt in food and premature death," said Professor Lu Qi of Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, who led the research. "Even a modest reduction in sodium intake by reducing sodium intake at the table is likely to lead to substantial health benefits, especially if achieved in the general population."

Study participants who always ate their meals salted had a 28 percent higher risk of premature death than people who did not do so or did so only occasionally. In the 50-year-old group, men and women who always added salt to their food had 2.3 years and 1.5 years shorter life expectancy than their peers who did not add salt.

 

Source: Unsplash/Emmy Smith/free use

 

The research also took into account other factors including age, gender, ethnicity, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, diet and diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. They evaluated only the amount of salt added to the finished food (already on the table), not salting during cooking. The problem is that salt intake is hard to track. Even urine tests may not reveal total intake, and many processed foods contain large amounts of salt.

Roughly 70 percent of sodium intake in the Western population comes from processed and pre-prepared foods, while 8 to 20 percent comes from salt added to food at the table shortly before consumption. Since such added salt is a very good indicator of a person's preference for salty foods, the research team focused their analysis on this measurement.

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Thumbnail: Unsplash/Emmy Smith/free use
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