A healthy habit of adding this salt substitute to food can save many lives, and help older people live longer. It’s pain-free and surprisingly easy! The risks are there, too!
Disclaimer. Be sure to consult your physician before using this salt, as it carries great health and life risks for some people!
We all know a simple truth — health requires sacrifice. When we hear these words, then many of us imagine something very difficult to achieve. But what if I told you that for many of you, there is an incredibly easy way to extend your life by years?
I’m sure many of you are not willing to sacrifice your quality of life.
Many of you evaluate your quality of life by taste in its literal sense: for some this taste is sweet, for others spicy or salty.
“We love salt, fat, and sugar. We’re hard-wired to go for those flavors. They trip our dopamine networks, which are our craving networks. “ — Michael Pollan
Of course, when we are talking about food substances such as sugar and salt, it is still worth following the recommendations of doctors and limiting their consumption to a safer amount.
This is especially true for people with high blood pressure, not to mention those with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
And yet, what should those who are not ready for such a change in their menu do? They simply won’t do it.
It’s sad to say, but it’s a fact!
There are a lot of people like that!
To prove this, I would like to provide some statistics which demonstrate that 90 percent of Americans eat too much salt and 40 percent of them have high blood pressure. In non-Hispanic black adults that rate is 60 percent.
That means that almost all high blood pressure patients in the U.S. continue to ruin their health with too much salt!
Is there an option that could reduce some of these risks to their health and even prolong their lives without compromising on flavor?
Fortunately, scientists have recently discovered such a solution! And most importantly, it is very affordable and does not require much self-restraint.
Does it sound too good to be true?
So what kind of salt is this?
A medical study conducted by the George Institute for Global Health, in Sydney, Australia, showed that replacing regular table salt with salt substitute significantly reduces the risk of premature death from stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
The study used a salt substitute of 75% sodium chloride and 25% potassium chloride.
Researchers found that stroke risk was reduced by 14 percent, cardiovascular events (strokes and heart attacks combined) by 13 percent, and premature death by 12 percent.
At this point some readers way begin to object:
If the food tastes less salty due to less sodium, then won’t I start salting my food even more!
But the beauty of potassium is that, like sodium, it tastes salty. So you won’t need to add more salt substitute than regular table salt!
The only drawback is that potassium-enriched salt may taste a little bitter, but luckily not enough to ruin the taste of your favorite dish.
*** A blind clinical study involving 100 volunteers between the ages of 11 and 64 found that more than 80% of participants either did not distinguish between the two salts or preferred the salt with the high potassium content.
Noteworthy points in this study involving 21,000 Chinese volunteers were :
- the average age of the participants was 65 years;
- 72.6 percent of the participants had a history of stroke;
- 88.4 percent of them had a history of hypertension.
Here I want to highlight two important details :
- In China, hypertension has a rate of 44.7% among adults aged 35–75.
- The cited study lasted for five years. This short period of time resulted in significant positive changes. However, even more, dramatic results can be expected when this substitute is used by people with high blood pressure over decades, starting at a younger age than in this study.
***At the very least, we would expect to see dramatic reductions in stroke, heart attacks, and gastric cancer. I want to emphasize again that a significant effect is observed in people with high blood pressure
- Of all the salt consumed by the Chinese, 70 percent is added when cooking at home, which is not the case for consumers in many other countries, including the United States, where most of the population consumes processed foods already containing a high salt content.
Therefore, in countries such as the United States, changes in food production facilities, industry, and government regulations will be needed.
Otherwise, adding this salt substitute only to home cooking will not result in much positive change.
The second way is to take the example of the Chinese and cook most of the food we consume at home.
Keep in mind that even 100 grams of purchased bread can contain 1.4 grams of salt (and sometimes more), in the UK these figures are closer to 1 gram (1.13).
According to another major study, the greatest reduction in deaths due to replacing regular salt with a salt substitute occurs in the 70+ age group, therefore promoting longevity.
Nevertheless, this measure showed a positive effect on the prevention of non-fatal cardiovascular events (strokes, heart attacks) as well as related disability occurrences in other age groups.
We should also note that the most significant success in lowering blood pressure, produced by the reduction of sodium, resulted only in people with mean blood pressure higher than 131/78 which is about 25 percent of the population.
How This Salt Substitute Can Prevent Stroke?
*** Speaking specifically about stroke, based on scientific data, we know that the risk of stroke in a patient with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg is three times higher than in people with a SAD of 120 mm Hg.
- ** Adding each additional gram of potassium to the daily diet
reduces the risk of stroke by 11 percent. Another study including 250,000 people found that a daily intake of 1,640 mg of potassium was linked to a 21% lower risk of stroke!
Meanwhile, 98 percent of Americans, consume potassium below the minimum recommended 4700 mg per day because they do not eat enough plant foods.
*** Hence, this salt substitute can significantly reduce the risk of stroke in people with very high blood pressure as long as the salt intake is predominantly at home!
Is this salt substitute safe for everyone?
Despite the fact that this amount of potassium is quite safe for the majority of the population, it is still risky for some people.
This is particularly true for people who are at high risk of hyperkalemia, a disorder caused by reduced excretion of potassium by the kidneys.
Factors contributing to hyperkalemia include
- excess potassium intake
- taking medications that impair renal excretion
- acute kidney injury
- chronic kidney disease, including diabetic nephropathy, which affects 25% of type 2 diabetics under age 65 and 50% of those over age 65!
A study by Dr. Bruce Neal and colleagues reported a very slight increase in hyperkalemia-related deaths after adding salt substitute to home use (3.35 events vs. 3.30 events per 1000 person-years.
But please note that this low figure refers to cases of hyperkalemia in the general population.
For patients at high risk of hyperkalemia, a much higher mortality rate can be expected.
Unfortunately, hyperkalemia is often asymptomatic!
Therefore, please consult with your doctor about the suitability of adding this salt substitute to your diet.
How does this salt substitute reduce the risk of cancer?
First of all, the excess sodium in table salt is one of the triggers of stomach cancer.
These two studies report that high and moderate salt intake increase the risk of stomach cancer and that potassium has anti-cancer effects in the stomach in individuals with high blood pressure.
Thus, this salt substitute has a dual protective effect in individuals with an increased risk of both stomach cancer and high blood pressure
Replacing regular table salt with a potassium-enriched salt substitute can save and prolong the lives of millions of people with high blood pressure.
This measure will be effective for countries like the U.S. in only two conditions:
- Changes in food regulations at the industry and state levels;
- Provided the base portion of salt is used in home cooking.
However, this salt substitute carries health and life risks for part of the population with hyperkalemia (which can be asymptomatic), for people with kidney disease, or for patients taking potassium-based medications and drugs that retain potassium in the body.