Although everyone needs a healthy amount of salt intake, consuming too much can be deadly. Salt is critical to life, as it helps to maintain the water content in our blood, balances the blood’s acids and bases, and is essential for the movement of electrical charges in the nerves that move our muscles. However, the consumption of too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, a diet high in salt content is often associated with weight gain.
According to results of a new analysis performed by Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo of the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues, a reduction in salt consumption would be a very healthy move for Americans. If the U.S. population decreased its daily salt intake by just one-half teaspoon, the health benefits would be almost equivalent to a substantial decrease in obesity rates, the prevention of heart attacks through treating practically everyone with cholesterol drugs, and a smoking reduction in the amount of 50 percent.