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How much salt is healthy for humans
Eating too much salt increases your risk of high blood pressure. This also increases the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system. According to health experts, daily salt consumption should not exceed six grams. That's about a teaspoonful. However, the majority of Germans consume significantly more.
High salt consumption favors high blood pressure
High salt consumption increases the risk of high blood pressure. This also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks. But salt is also an essential mineral for the body. Whether salt is unhealthy or healthy depends on the amount. Canadian scientists reported on a study according to which insufficient salt consumption can promote a stroke.
Dangers of low salt consumption
The German Society for Endocrinology also points out in a current communication the dangers of low salt consumption. They write: “High-pressure patients can have a positive impact on their risk of cardiovascular diseases if they are reluctant to eat salt. However, this does not apply to people without high blood pressure. Your risk of heart attack and stroke does not increase with high salt consumption, but rather with too little salt per day. "
A maximum of one teaspoonful
According to the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), an adult should consume a maximum of six grams of salt a day. The German Nutrition Society also recommends this maximum dose, which corresponds to about a teaspoonful. However, the reality is different. Prof. Graeve, who was involved in the EU comparative study SALUX, said: "On average, an adult man in Germany consumes 8.4 grams of salt, an adult woman an average of 6.1 grams."
Germans consume too much salt
A meta-analysis of four large prospective studies with a total of 135,000 people from 49 countries, which was published in the specialist magazine "The Lancet", showed that salt consumption is sometimes much higher. Men like it even more salty than women, they consume an average of 10.0 grams of salt a day, women 8.4 grams.
The study differentiated between people with and without high blood pressure. In high pressure patients, the event rate increased as expected with sodium intake that exceeded four to five grams per day. However, this was not the case in people with normal blood pressure. In contrast, cardiovascular events and total deaths were increased both in people with and without high blood pressure when sodium was consumed below three grams per day.
Organs and vessels are damaged
Numerous studies have suggested in the past that a lot of table salt raises blood pressure and thus damages organs and vessels. Professor Helmut Schatz from the board of the German Society for Endocrinology explained: “The sodium contained in table salt binds water and thus increases the blood volume. The pressure in the vessels becomes higher and with it the blood pressure, so a simplified explanation of a complex process ”.
Hypertension can have many causes
“Today we know that high blood pressure has many causes. Simply equating high blood pressure with a lot of sodium is not the case, ”says the expert. For a long time, the motto for salt was "the less, the better". According to Professor Schatz, this had to be viewed in a more differentiated manner according to the results of the Lancet study.
For Professor Dr. Matthias Weber from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, these findings certainly have a health policy influence. “The Lancet work shows us that too little salt - regardless of whether people have high or normal blood pressure - should not be consumed. But the problem does not arise in view of the production conditions and eating habits in Germany. "
Hypertension patients should use salt sparingly
“Hypertension patients should still avoid salt or use it sparingly. This also applies to patients with heart failure. People with normal blood pressure and without heart failure have to pay less attention to their salt consumption, ”said Professor Weber. A slow weaning of salt is more sensible according to experts, because the taste buds react negatively to a quick and clear reduction and signal to the body that the food does not taste good.
Reduction should be slow
The German Hypertension League also wrote in a message: “An adjustment to the milder salt taste can be done by a gradual reduction. This way, the palate and tongue can get used to the weakened taste. ”However, the reduction is usually not so easy, since the table salt content in foods is often far too high. Bread, rolls, dairy products such as cheese, meat and sausage products, and ready meals are among the foods that are particularly high in salt. (ad)